Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that Ankara intended to buy 120 US-made F-35 fighter jets amid speculations that the transfer might be halted.
“We will buy 120 F-35 aircraft produced by the United States. Some of the components for the aircraft are produced in Turkey,” Erdogan said, speaking at a rally in Istanbul, which was aired by the NTV broadcaster.
The president’s statement comes after Erdogan’s aide Ibrahim Kalin told reporters on Saturday on the sidelines of the Doha Forum that Ankara had doubts that the United States may cancel the deliveries of its F-35 fighters to Turkey if the latter buys the Russian air defense system S-400.
Earlier, US officials have warned that if Ankara goes ahead with its plans to purchase the S-400 systems, the United States could withhold the transfer of F-35 jets to Turkey.