'National warplane Turkey’s best response to F-35'
Situations in Syria, Libya show more attention should be paid to missile defense, says Turkish president
Turkey developing its own indigenous warplane is the best response to those threatening its involvement in the F-35 fighter jet program, said the president on Wednesday.
"I hope our warplane, which will be indigenous at every stage of design and production, will roll out of the hangar in 2023," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the opening ceremony for a new ammunition facility in the central Kirikkale province.
Turkey's acquisition of the advanced S-400 Russian air defense system prompted the U.S. to remove Turkey from the F-35 program in July. The U.S. argued that the system could be used by Russia to covertly obtain classified details on the jet and is incompatible with NATO systems.
Turkey, however, counters that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.
Stressing the importance of air defense systems, Erdogan said that situations faced by Turkey in Libya and Syria show that more attention should be paid to missile defense.
Reiterating Turkey’s efforts to develop its domestic defense industry, Erdogan said that by placing the Hisar-A low-altitude air defense missile system along the Syrian border, Turkey aims to address a gap.
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