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Pentagon warns F35 deal with Turkey in jeopardy

Pentagon warns F35 deal with Turkey in jeopardy

He also warned that the United States would halt the sale of the Patriot surface-to-air missile system to the country, cancelling a deal the U.S. government has already approved.

"We will not go into a deal if they insist on keeping the "key" to the system", Erdogan said of the Patriot missiles.

Following a negative response from the US regarding the sale of its Patriot missile defense system, Turkey evaluated Russia's offer and made a decision to purchase the S-400 air defense system.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told the official Anadolu Agency's editorial board Friday that his forces would begin deploying Russia's coveted S-400 Triumf anti-missile and anti-aircraft defense system in October, a move he said was meant to "protect our 82 million citizens".

"We concluded the S-400 issue, signed a deal with the Russians and will start co-production...later, we may work with S-500s", Mr Erdogan told Turkish media this week.

Mr Summers said: "If Turkey takes the S-400, there would be grave consequences in terms of our military relationship and the Patriots and the F-35s".

The State Department is issuing another stern warning to Turkey over the purchase of a Russian-made missile defense system. But U.S. officials have expressed concerns that the S-400 could be used to gather information on the advanced aircraft. At risk for the United States is the delivery of the aircraft to other allies in the consortium, which could face significant delays if Turkey were cut out, due to its role in production.

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Deputy Spokesman Robert Palladino said the USA had not changed its position and voiced concern over Turkey's initiative to purchase the system from Russian Federation.

Turkey says it has already paid Moscow some of the bill, and analysts say Erdogan, who is campaigning for March 31 local elections, would find it hard to back away from the Russian deal now.

Ankara is planning to purchase 100 F-35 fighter jets from the USA pending congressional approval, and its pilots are now training on the weapons platform at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.

Still, the U.S.is holding out hope Turkey will instead take up its offer to buy the patriot system.

It was the latest in a series of warnings the U.S. has made to Turkey over its plans to buy the S-400.

According to statements by Turkish authorities, the first delivery of the S-400 system is scheduled for July 2019. "We are stuck between the two", he said.

"The United States on the one hand, Russian Federation on the other".