'Turkey to use S-400s as some NATO members use S-300s'
Turkey's defense minister calls on US to form joint working group on S-400 system, F-35 fighter jets
NATO member Turkey will use its Russian-made S-400 missile defense system just as other members of the alliance use their S-300 defense systems, Turkey's defense minister said on Thursday.
S-300 defense systems are also Russian and they are an older version of the S-400 series.
"Just as the S-300 [missile defense] system, which exists in some NATO member states, is used in NATO alliance, the S-400 system will also be used [in Turkey] in the same way," Hulusi Akar told the members of the Turkish parliament's Planning and Budget Committee.
Russia has sold the S-300 system to 20 countries, including NATO member countries such as Bulgaria, Greece, and Slovakia.
Akar noted that Turkey would continue on the control and preparation process of the S-400 system "as planned."
He called on the US to form a joint working group on the compatibility of the S-400 system and F-35 stealth fighter jets.
"We're ready to discuss the technical concerns of the US on the compatibility of S-400s and F-35s."
The US officially removed Turkey from the F-35 joint strike fighter program in July 2019 over Ankara's decision to buy the advanced Russian air defense system.
Also, Akar said that a total of 20,571 personnel had been dismissed from the Turkish Army since the 2016 defeated coup orchestrated by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
The FETO terror group and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in Turkey which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkey accuses FETO of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.