U.S. May Suspend Training of Turkish Pilots for F-35 Jets Over Russia Missile Deal (excerpt)
(Source: Reuters; published May 28, 2019)
By Humeyra Pamuk, Phil Stewart
WASHINGTON --- The United States is seriously considering suspending training for Turkish pilots on advanced F-35 fighter jets as Ankara moves ahead with plans to purchase a Russian missile defense system despite objections from Washington, sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

The two NATO allies have argued for months over Turkey’s order for the Russian S-400 defenses, which Washington says are incompatible with the Western alliance’s defense network and would pose a threat to American F-35 stealth fighters which Turkey also plans to buy.

The two sources, who are familiar with Turkey’s role in the F-35 program and who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a final decision had not yet been made.

The deliberation follows signs that Turkey is moving ahead with the S-400 purchase. Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on May 22 that Turkish military personnel were receiving training in Russia to use the S-400, and said Russian personnel may come to Turkey.

Turkish pilots have also been training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. It was unclear whether a decision to suspend their training would mean they would have to leave the country, or would be allowed to remain at the base until a final decision is made about Turkey’s future in the F-35 program. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Reuters website.


Delivery of S-400 Systems May Be Delayed After June: Defense Minister (excerpt)
(Source: Hurriyet Daily News; posted May 28, 2019)
ANKARA --- The delivery of Russian-made S-400 systems to Turkey might be delayed until after June, but they would be deployed in the following months, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on late May 27.

The deployment of the air defense systems “may not reach June, but they will arrive in the following months. The process has started,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said late on May 27 speaking at an interview on HaberTurk broadcaster.

“There are some details about the agreements we have made regarding the procurement of the S-400, within the framework of the contracts. Related institutions, organizations continue to negotiate about them,” the minister said when asked about the deployment schedule.

The minister said Ankara is still considering possible locations to deploy the S-400 systems, Akar added. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Hurriyet website.


Russia Says No Delay in S-400 Delivery to Turkey
(Source: Anadolu Agency; published May 29, 2019)
MOSCOW --- The delivery of S-400 missile defense systems to Turkey is going according to the schedule, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on May 29.

"The delivery will be carried out earlier than originally planned, at the request of the Turkish side," Peskov told reporters in Kazakhstan's capital Nursultan, formerly known as Astana.

He added that there would be no delay in the delivery defense hardware.

Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey have reached a fever pitch in recent months with Turkey set to begin receiving the advanced S-400 Russian surface-to-air missile system that Washington said will jeopardize Turkey's role in the F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger congressional sanctions.

Turkey decided in 2017 to purchase the S-400 system following protracted efforts to purchase air defense systems from the U.S. with no success.


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