Turkey and the United States are still in discussions despite a decision by Washington last month to remove the country from the F-35 fighter jet program over its decision to accept delivery of an advanced Russian missile defense system, the Pentagon’s procurement chief has said according to reports.
Asked during a briefing on Monday if Turkey’s removal from the F-35 program is irreversible, Ellen Lord, the under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, reportedly said that Ankara “is a strategic ally of ours, a strategic partner for us.”
“So we always continue to talk,” she was quoted as saying.
According to the same reports, Lord said that US vendors would take over production of F-35 fighter jet parts that Turkey was set to build.
The “900-plus parts [Turkey makes] will be sourced in the US, initially,” Lord was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile on Monday Ankara said Russia would resume the delivery of its S-400 missile defense system to Turkey this week.