Turkey’s defense minister has reaffirmed the country’s plans to use a Russian-made missile defense system it purchased despite continued objections from the United States.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told a parliamentary budget commission Thursday the military is continuing its checks and preparations of the S-400s as planned.
Washington is strongly against NATO member Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian anti-aircraft system and kicked Turkey out of its F-35 fighter jet program, saying the S-400s are a threat to the stealth fighter jets and wouldn’t be interoperable with NATO systems.
Akar said Turkey is prepared to discuss with the U.S. its “anxiety” over the interoperability of the S-400s and the F-35s. “Our offer for a joint working group is still on the table,” he said, in comments carried by the official Anadolu news agency.
Turkey was making components for the F-35 and had planned to purchase 100 of the stealth fighters.
Read more: Haaretz