By Katie Rogers and Thomas Gibbons-Neff
WASHINGTON (New York Times) — The White House informed Turkey, a NATO ally, on Wednesday, July 17, that the United States would not sell it F-35 stealth fighter jets, in retaliation for the country’s purchase of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems.
President Trump had said a day earlier that Turkey’s order for more than 100 American-made jets would be canceled. The S-400 system is one of Russia’s most advanced antiaircraft weapons and can target and attack aircraft at an average range of roughly 155 miles, flying to an altitude of 82,000 feet.
“The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities,” the White House said in a statement. “Accepting the S-400 undermines the commitments all NATO allies made to each other to move away from Russian systems.”
“This will have detrimental impacts on Turkish interoperability with the alliance,” the statement said.
Turkey accepted its first shipment last week of its $2.5 billion purchase of Russian S-400 systems.