US Army General’s “best military advice”: don’t supply F-35s to Turkey

US Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti said Tuesday that the U.S. should block sales of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Turkey if it goes ahead with its plan to buy the advanced S-400 anti-air missile system from Russia.

“My best military advice is that we don’t follow through” on supplying F-35s to NATO ally Turkey unless it backs out of the S-400 deal with Moscow, said Scaparrotti, who is dual-hatted as head of U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Scaparrotti said he has two reasons for objecting to Turkey getting the S-400 system, which Russia has billed as a weapons system to counter the F-35 in its sales pitch to Turkey, Arab states and China.

“If they accept the S-400 to establish it in Turkey, there is first the issue that it’s not interoperable with NATO systems, nor is it interoperable inside of our integrated missile defense system,” he said.