U.S. Turkey Dispute to Resolve F-35 Issue
Department of Defence Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Anton T. Semelroth stated that top Pentagon officials, Principal Director for Europe and NATO Policy Andrew L. Winternitz and Director for Planning, Programs and Analysis in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment Melissa Benkert, visited Ankara on October 27 for dispute resolution discussions to address remaining issues resulting from Turkey’s removal from the F-35 program, which was finalized on September 23. The Turkish delegation was composed of representatives from the Turkish Ministry of National Defence. The meeting demonstrates the commitment of the United States Government to conclude Turkey’s prior involvement in the F-35 program respectfully. Discussions were productive, and the delegations plan to meet again in the coming months in Washington, D.C.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump removed Turkey from the F-35 stealth fighter program in 2019 over Ankara’s purchase of Russia’s advanced S-400 air defence system. Officials in the United States protested the procurement, arguing that Russia may use the device secretly to collect classified information about the F-35. Ankara has said that the S-400 presents no threat to the F-35.