The United States has reportedly stopped shipping equipment related to the F-35 fighter jet to Turkey. Washingtons move comes after Ankara insisted on purchasing the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
Turkey has not received the fifth-generation fighter jet yet, but all current and future shipments of equipment related to the aircraft have been halted, Reuters reported, citing anonymous US officials.
A NATO ally of the US, Turkey was planning on ordering 116 F-35s, and had signed on to produce fuselage components for the next-generation aircraft. However, US lawmakers moved to exclude Turkey from the program, fearing Turkeys planned purchase of the Russian-made S-400 air defense system could give the Russian system opportunity to learn how to track and spot the jet.
US President Donald Trump signed a bill last year blocking the transfer of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, but the F-35 Joint Program Office said it would execute the transfer according to existing plans. Four US Senators introduced another bipartisan bill last week to prohibit the transfer until Ankara agrees to abandon the S-400 deal.