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April 7, 2019 9:58 am

US Defense Department to Train Turkish Pilots Using F-35

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A US Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft. Photo: US Air Force Photo/Alex R. Loyd. – The US Department of Defense delivered an F-35 jet meant for Turkey to an Arizona air-force base instead, where Turkish pilots will be trained.

The Pentagon announced on Monday that it has halted all F-35 aircraft shipments to Turkey due to Ankara planning to acquire a Russian missile-defense system.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a NATO meeting in Washington on Wednesday that the S-400 purchase was a “done deal.”

Another F-35 could be delivered to the base on Friday, Vice Adm. Mat Winter, the DOD’s F-35 program manager, told Bloomberg News on Thursday.

“Both aircraft were given approval to ferry to Luke [Air Force base in Arizona] and join the test squadron,” he said.

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