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Turkey will look for alternatives if fail to get US F-35 fighter jets

ANI | Updated: Nov 24, 2019 17:45 IST

Ankara [Turkey], Nov 24 (ANI): Turkey will seek alternatives if we cannot acquire F-35 fighter jets from the United States for any reason, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has said.
"All should be aware that Turkey will have to look for alternatives if F-35s cannot be acquired for any reason," Akar said on Saturday during an interview with Al Jazeera.
The Russia-made S-400 missile defence systems Turkey recently procured would not be integrated into the NATO systems within the Turkish defence system and would instead be part of a "stand-alone system," the minister stated.
"That's what we have been saying since the beginning (of the dispute with the United States) ... We are not going to integrate this with the NATO systems in any way," he said.
Akar emphasised that Turkey has fulfilled its responsibilities as one of the partner countries in the F-35 program, and the US should do its part accordingly.
He recalled that Ankara previously tried to acquire a US-made Patriot defence system but that attempt was rejected by Washington DC before Turkey decided to buy the S-400 system.
Turkey's procurement of the Russian S-400 missile defence systems prompted the Trump administration to suspend Ankara's participation in the F-35 fifth-generation joint strike fighter programme in July.
Russia has expressed its readiness for a potential agreement with Turkey on the sale of Su-35 or Su-57 aircraft. (ANI)