The United Kingdom has begun supplying US F-35 fighter jets, according to the Daily Telegraph. For its part, Turkey plans to buy both F-35 fighters and Russia’s S-400 air defense systems simultaneously.
London and Washington fear that with the use of both systems by the Turks, Moscow will have access to the secret technology of the fighters and information about their vulnerabilities.
The United Kingdom promises to acquire 138 fighters from the USA. The first four F-35 fighters have arrived at a British Air Force base and will soon undergo field trials aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.
At the same time, Turkey plans to buy not only US fighters but also the modern and famous S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia. Experts fear that the combined use of two systems will lead to leakage of data on F-35 vulnerabilities to Russia, the newspaper said .
US Senator Chris Van Hollen has suggested stopping the supply of fighters to Ankara until Turkey gives up buying Russian systems. He also noted that simultaneous buying threatens US national security, which he described as “unacceptable.”
Mark Francois, a member of the Defense Committee of the British Parliament, said the UK is investing heavily in the F-35s, particularly because of stealth technology.
“We do not want anything to compromise that ability, including the sale of the S-400s to Turkey,” he said.
According to him, the acquisition of the S-400 systems will certainly cause concern in the UK Department of Defense, because it is “quite obvious” that Russia is interested in obtaining this information.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to strengthen Ankara-Moscow relations which has received scourn from fellow NATO members, especially from Washington. Turkey acknowledges that there are no better missile defense systems then the Russian S-400 system and is willing to destroy relations with NATO to acquire this.