Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that the purchase of an S-400 missile defense system from Russia was a done deal, adding that Turkey would also jointly produce an S-500 system with Russia.
US officials have called Turkey’s planned purchase of the S-400 missile defense system “deeply problematic,” saying it would put at risk Ankara’s partnership in the joint strike fighter F-35 program because it would compromise the jets, made by Lockheed Martin Corp.
However, Erdoğan said at a televised question and answer session with university students in İstanbul that Turkey had conducted technical studies and found that such a problem did not exist.
“They [the US] are passing the ball around in the midfield now, showing some reluctance. But sooner or later, we will receive the F-35s. [The US] not delivering them is not an option.”