A Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet for Turkey arrived on Wednesday at a military training facility in Arizona, an Air Force official said on Thursday, amid a dispute over Ankara’s planned purchase of a Russian missile defence system.
Earlier this week, Reuters reported that the United States halted delivery of equipment related to the stealth F-35 fighter aircraft to Turkey because of concern the NATO ally’s planned purchase of the Russian system would compromise the security of the jet, the most advanced U.S. fighter aircraft.
A second jet is scheduled to arrive at Luke Air Force Base on Friday, the Air Force official said. Two Turkish F-35 jets are already at the base.
Pentagon spokesman Charlie Summers told reporters on Thursday: “The training (for pilots) will continue at Luke Air Force Base.”
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has refused to back down from Ankara’s planned purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defence system.