Turkey said Saturday it would search for alternative fighter jets if it could not acquire F-35s for any reason.
“All should be aware that Turkey will have to look for alternatives if F-35s [jets] cannot be acquired for any reason,” National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said at an interview with Al Jazeera.
Turkey’s acquisition of the advanced Russian S-400 air-defense system prompted the U.S. administration to remove Turkey from the F-35 fifth-generation joint strike fighter program in July.
The U.S. maintains that the system could be used by Russia to covertly obtain classified details on the jet and is incompatible with NATO systems.
Turkey, however, counters that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.