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Israel pressed Washington to exclude Turkey from the F-35 program


JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Tel Aviv has put pressure on Washington from behind the scenes to persuade it to exclude Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet in an effort to maintain a qualitative military edge in the region, Israeli officials said.

The Times of Israel newspaper quoted the Israeli Channel 12 as saying that in recent months Tel Aviv has been pressing to exclude Turkey from the program of this stealth plane after the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to proceed with the purchase of Russian missile defense system S400, Which would give Turkey advanced air capabilities.

Washington attributed its decision to claim that the S-400 batteries would threaten the F-35 program and help Russian intelligence, and the 12th channel said that the Israeli authorities also expressed concern that details of the capabilities of these advanced aircraft could leak to neighboring countries.

The newspaper pointed out that US President Donald Trump, in a move that represents a great break with an old ally, to exclude Turkey from the F-35 program in response to the purchase of Russian missile defense system.

Turkey, which has asked more than 100 F-35s for $ 1.4 billion, has rejected claims that Russia's defense system would pose a threat to the security of US warplanes and urged Washington to back down.

The F-35 has developed a tool that surpasses the US military, not only for the capability of this attack aircraft, but also for its ability to communicate with other aircraft and form a network for information exchange.

Israel has ordered the purchase of 50 F-35 fighter planes, Lockheed Martin, and has so far received 16 aircraft. The remaining planes are due to arrive in batches until 2024.

Source: aljazeera

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