Turkish Foreign Minister Says Ankara Won’t Wait for US F-35 Jets, Wants $1.4Bln Back

Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning IIInternationalIndiaAfricaANKARA (Sputnik) – Turkiye has no plans to wait until it is brought back to the US F-35 multirole fighter program, from which it was officially removed two years ago, and seeks a refund of $1.4 billion paid for the jets, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday. “We want out money now. We want the money we paid there to be returned. Our friends from the ministry came together and reviewed the steps we will take from now on. We are now taking care of ourselves,” Cavusoglu told media, adding that Ankara does not want the situation to “turn into a snake story like with the Patriot defense system.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan previously said that the country had paid $1.4 billion for the jets. MilitaryPentagon Rethinks F-35 Spare Parts Purchase Scheme as Jet Hemorrhages Money4 May, 17:18 GMTIn April 2021, the US excluded Turkiye from the F-35 program after Ankara purchased Russia’s S-400 air defense systems. Washington annulled the joint memorandum on the F-35 fighters with the country, while signing the document with seven other project partners — the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Canada and Norway. Erdogan said later that year that Turkiye had received a US offer to buy F-16 jets instead, one generation behind the F-35s. The US Congress has been debating whether to include restrictions on the sale of jets in its annual defense spending bill for fiscal 2023, while the US State Department has been trying to convince lawmakers that the deal was aligned with Washington’s interests.


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