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US senator urges Austin to remove Turkey from F35 program

Washington: A US senator has urged Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to stop the transfer of F-35 technology from Turkey, which has purchased the S-400 missile defense system from Russia, not doing so would signal a wrong for countries such as Is proceeding with a similar purchase.
Senator James Lankford said in a letter to Austin, who was in New Delhi, on Monday, “Turkey’s slow Pentagon removal from the F-35 supply chain is sending the wrong message to nations like India, who make similar purchases with Russia Looking for opportunities. ” Last week.
The Oklahoma senator said the US should “continue to urge our allies and allies to move away from Russian equipment.”
“But if we avoid holding Turkey fully accountable for its S-400 purchase, by allowing them to continue producing parts, we will signal to India and other partners that such behavior is acceptable, or less Less than that, it will not have results, ”said Lankford. “This will hurt our efforts to discourage further military cooperation between our allies and Moscow.”
In his letter, the senator expressed dissatisfaction over the speed at which the Defense Department is working to remove Turkey from the F-35 Lighting II joint strike fighter’s supply chain.
The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2020 prohibits Turkey from providing or relating “material support required for any maintenance or support for F-35 aircraft”.
“While you and Secretary Blinken have made efforts to ensure the safety of the F-35 program and to encourage Turkey to divest from the S-400, which includes NATO’s foreign minister last week, the Turkish manufacturer is still one of the key components. Producing and distributing. ” Despite the statutory restrictions on such participation in the aircraft manufacturing line, ”he said.
“Adhering to this situation for the better part of three years and received an unsatisfactory response from DoD officials, I am concerned by the Pentagon’s continued progress on this issue and lack of urgency. I encourage you to ensure Turkey’s quick expulsion. To expedite the process. F-35 supply chain, “he urged.
Lankford has led the effort in Congress to prevent Turkey from accessing US F-35 technology as it purchased the S-400 system from Russia.
He made a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (FY20 NDAA), which prevented the transfer of F-35 aircraft to Turkey and ended his role in the program.
After a delay in the removal of Turkey from the supply chain, Lankford sent a letter in July 2020 urging full implementation of the law. He has also called for sanctions against Turkey for the S-400 purchase, imposed by then-President Donald Trump in December 2020.

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