Turkey considers Russian Su-57, Chinese J-31 jets to replace F-35s

Ankara prioritizes S-400s over F-35 fighter jets as the missile systems are seen as an urgent need due to regional tensions

Turkey’s security bureaucracy already has alternative plans in case the United States halts the delivery of the F-35 jets over Ankara’s decision to buy S-400 missile systems and has been considering Russian Su-57 or Chinese J-31 stealth fighters as possible options, pro-government Yeni Şafak daily said on Sunday.

As a last move of Washington’s increased pressure on Ankara to cancel the S-400 deal with Moscow, the Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan sent a letter to Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar on Thursday detailing how Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program will be all but suspended as of July 31, unless Turkey withdraws from its planned purchase of Russian defence systems.

In April, the United States froze a joint F-35 manufacturing program with Turkey, which produces 6-7 percent of the parts for the fighter jets, while there is a bipartisan support in U.S. Congress to halt the delivery of 100 F-35 jets Turkey plans to buy from the United States, in case Ankara goes ahead with S-400 acquisition plans.

CNBC reported last month that Washington had told Ankara to decide by early June to either cancel its acquisition of Russia’s S-400 missile systems and buy U.S.-made Patriots or risk expulsion from an advanced U.S. fighter jet program, U.S. sanctions and possible blowback from NATO.

Read more HERE