President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday suggested Turkey could look to Russia for an alternative after the US excluded Ankara from its F-35 fighter jet programme.
Following Turkey’s controversial purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system, Washington discontinued Turkey’s involvement in the F-35 programme.
“If the US continues with the same attitude on the F-35 issue, we will take care of ourselves. Will it be the Su-35? The F-35? Or the Su-57?” Erdogan told reporters in Ankara, referring to Russia’s Sukhoi fighter jets.
He indicated that the Turkish government was still in the early stages of considering its options. “Beyond putting the Su-35, F-35 or Su-57 on the table, we are exploring what measures we can take for our defense industry, for our defense,” Erdogan said.
Joint production and credit plans were conditions that would be sought, he said. Turkey has repeatedly said that Ankara wants to become a producer of military hardware and not just a buyer from countries such as the US and Russia.—AFP