BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:00 A.M.) – The head of Turkish Defense Industries, Ismail Demir, said on Monday that Turkey does not intend to buy Russian Sukhoi-35 fighters instead of the American F-35, which Washington has halted delivery due to Ankara’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 air defense system.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said repeatedly that Ankara will take measures, including searching for the same equipment in other countries, if Washington refuses to sell it the latest F-35 fighters.
“Obtaining the Sukhoi 35 fighters from Russia is on the agenda, but we have no plan to replace one plane with another. Our main goal is the national combat aircraft. We will do what is completely in line with our country,” Demir said.
In July 2019, the United States suspended Ankara from participating in the F-35 multi-role fighter program due to Turkey receiving the first batch of S-400 batteries and subsequently removing them completely from the project.
In December, Washington imposed sanctions on the Turkish arms procurement sector over the S-400 case. Despite this, Turkey continues to manufacture parts of the F-35 fighter.