23:37 GMT26 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkey will begin producing its own five-generation fighter jets by the year 2033, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

    "The beginning of production of our own military planes, scheduled for 2033, will be the best response to those who do not wish to supply F-35 [fighter jets] to Turkey", Erdogan said in his speech at the opening of an ammunition recycling plant in the province of Kirikkale, broadcast by the Turkish NTV channel.

    In July 2019, the United States suspended Turkey's participation in its F-35 multirole fighter program over Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 air defence systems, adding that the country would be completely removed from the project by late March 2020. In August 2019, the head of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Dmitry Shugaev, said that Russia could assist Turkey in creating its own five-generation fighter TF-X.

    Russia and Turkey signed a $2.5 billion deal for the delivery of four S-400 batteries in December 2017. The delivery of all components of the S-400 air defence missile systems to Turkey was completed last year.

    The US has repeatedly objected to Turkey's S-400 purchase, saying that the weapon system is incompatible with NATO security standards and might compromise operations of the new F-35 fighter jets. Ankara insists that the S-400 systems would not pose a threat for the alliance and resisted US pressure to cancel orders.

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