Turkey wants F-35 and Patriot again, relying on Biden’s mind
ANKARA, (BM) – The Turkish government has once again talked about fighter jets and anti-aircraft missile systems. Hulusi Akar, the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Turkey, answered several journalistic questions related to the country’s defense, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned.
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According to the Minister of Defense, the United States’ sanctions for the purchase of Russian air defense systems are hasty and ill-considered. “Both sides are suffering from this,” Akar said. There is no direct evidence that the S-400 can cause problems on the fifth-generation F-35 fighters’ chairs. Akar also stressed that Turkey could resolve the United States’ problem through dialogue, review of settlement agreements, and a technical commission to resolve the issue. Akar believes that after Joe Biden takes office as president of the United States, Ankara and Washington will normalize relations.
“Turkey wants to return to the F-35 program. Americans have spent a lot of time and energy. The alliance between the two nations must not be destroyed or damaged because such a crisis can be devastating,” the Turkish minister told reporters. “Are we opponents now? We expect the United States to reconsider its decisions and move towards their normalization during the reign of the new US President Biden,” he said.
Akar expressed a similar opinion after stressing that Turkey is about to modernize its squadron of F-16 fighters. Lack of communication and deteriorating defense relations could hamper Ankara’s plans to rebuild its division.
The military minister again clarified Turkey’s reasons to turn to Russia to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems. “We met with the United States and Europeans. Unfortunately, we could not get appropriate answers on costs, technology transfer, payment terms, delivery, and production. We had to provide this for our country from Russia, which responded positively,” Akar said.
Turkey still wants to buy US Patriot air defense systems, but their Russian counterparts will remain active, the minister said. According to him, S-400 will not be fixed in a specific place permanently. “We will relocate S-400 in any Turkish field according to the type, manner, and degree of threat.”
However, there are opportunities
The two countries are setting up a technical working group. The Turkish Foreign Minister’s statement confirmed this decision’s report, and both parties had already signed an agreement, as we reported on January 5 this year.
BulgarianMilitary.com reminds you that the idea of creating such a working group is not alien to the Turks. On the contrary, even before the first deliveries of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Turkey, Ankara made this offer, but Washington rejected it. In the mid-2020, the United States did not want to solve the problem but decided to strain relations by threatening Turkey with economic sanctions.
“A joint working group with the United States on the S-400 has been set up, and technical negotiations have begun,” the Turkish Foreign Minister said at the end of the year. We remind you that the first deliveries of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems began in mid-2019.
Russia fears unfair Turkish behavior
There are opportunities for Turkey to provide sensitive information on Russian S-400 systems to its US partners. At least such allegations were made in the Russian news agency Aviapro.
According to the article, Washington will return Turkey to the F-35 program. The reason for this is precisely the working group set up at the end of last year. The publication claims that the doors for the F-35 program will reopen to Ankara, as Turkey will provide information on the S-400 system through a working group.
Aviapro refers to the same statement by the Turkish Minister of Defense. However, according to Russian journalists, Akar deliberately hid the signed agreement to establish a working group to develop the impact of the S-400 on the F-35.
Turkey’s actions are contradictory
The Turkish Minister of Defense’s latest statement shows contradictory decisions by the Turkish government. In the middle of last year, we announced that Turkey was ready not to disclose sensitive information on the dispute’s two axes – NATO and Russia.
The head of the Turkish defense industry, Ismail Demir, said: “Turkey will launch the S-400 alone to protect the F-35 program and its weapons systems.”
He also said that Turkey promises Russia to protect data from S-400 systems, the newspaper said. “Russia has expressed concern about the S-400 data, and Turkey promises to protect these systems.”
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