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29 Mar, 2019 23:53

Turkey can buy Su-35s from Moscow if US doesn’t ship promised F-35s – military analyst

Turkey can buy Su-35s from Moscow if US doesn’t ship promised F-35s – military analyst

Washington risks losing the Turkish arms market if it continues to delay the delivery of F-35s agreed upon with Ankara, as Turkey can simply switch to buying warplanes from Russia, RT was told.

"If the US fails to ship the jets to Turkey, Ankara can certainly buy the Su-35s from Russia instead," Viktor Litovkin, a military analyst with the Moscow-based TASS news agency, told RT.

The US will end up losing the arms market in Turkey should that happen

Both aircraft have comparable characteristics, Litovkin said, adding that Moscow wouldn't risk leaking sensitive military technology because the jet's software is hard to crack. It would not require much effort to smoothly integrate the planes into the Turkish military either.

Politicians in Washington have been trying to pressure key NATO ally Turkey to drop its deal to buy S-400 anti-air missile defense systems from Moscow. This week, US senators tabled a draft bill calling for a ban on the transfer of 100 F-35s, previously agreed with Turkey, unless it guarantees that it won't buy weapons from Russia. The delivery of the US-made planes was already effectively blocked by the Senate last year. 

Also on rt.com US senators draft bill to stop transfer of F-35 jets to Turkey unless it ditches S-400 deal

The Turkish leadership, meanwhile, strongly defended its right to buy arms from whoever it wants, and repeatedly reaffirmed that it will stick to the S-400 contract.

The attempts to pressure Ankara are "a sign of unfair competition" the US employs to "steamroll" the sale of its own anti-air missile defense system, the MIM-104 Patriot Pac 3, Litovkin said. He believes that Washington is likely to continue blackmailing its ally for as long as it can, but at some point will be forced to concede and deliver the promised jets to Turkey.

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