Russia offers Turkey Su-35 fighter jets after US Removes from F-35 Programme

Russia offers Turkey Su-35 fighter jets after US Removes from F-35 Programme

On July 18, 2019 US officially removes Turkey from F-35 fighter jet programme after Ankara received the first parts of a Russian missile defence system.

Now Russia is ready to sell its super-maneuverable Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets to Turkey, head of the Russian state conglomerate Rostec said Thursday.

“If our Turkish colleagues express a desire, we are ready to work out the deliveries of the Su-35,” Sergei Chemezov said.

Russia has offered to sell Turkey its Su-35 Flanker as well as its most advanced—though troubled—Su-57. Experts have long debated which of the stealth fighters would win in a fight, the F-35 or the Russian jets. If it comes down to a close-in dogfight, the more maneuverable Russian jets would likely get the first kill. But the F-35 was designed with state-of-the-art sensors and cutting-edge stealth so that it can sneak up on an opponent long before it knows it’s there.

Either way, the possibility that Ankara could soon operate advanced Russian jets is sure to raise red flags at the Pentagon and in Brussels. Russian Flankers have been harassing U.S. jets in Syria for years, as well as collecting intelligence on America’s premier dogfighter, the F-22. A Turkish fleet of Su-35 or Su-57 jets would seriously complicate operations in Syria and NATO exercises over Europe.

The Russian offer comes a day after the United States announced it is removing Turkey from the F-35 stealth fighter program, following through on threats to do so over Ankara’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system.

The Foreign Ministry called on Washington to correct its decision, which it said would irreparably damage relations between the two countries.

The Su-35 is a fourth-generation supersonic fighter jet, which is a derivative of the Su-27 plane.

The single-seat, twin-engine, super-maneuverable aircraft was actively used in Moscow’s military campaign in Syria. Russia has put 78 Su-35s into service since 2014.

In November 2018, Russia completed the delivery of 24 multi-role Su-35s to China in a deal worth around $2.5 billion. Indonesia currently has an order for 11 jets with deliveries expected later in 2019.

The Pentagon has finally kicked Turkey out of the F-35 fighter jet program in response to Ankara’s purchase of a Russian missile defense system, following through on a threat it had been making for months. The move, which U.S. officials said was backed by all of the F-35 partners, means Turkey will not get any of the 100 planes it planned to buy—including four it has already paid for—and that all Turkish personnel associated with the program must depart the United States.

Booting Ankara from the program will cost Turkish industry $9 billion in projected work, Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, told reporters Wednesday in a rare on-camera press briefing. But the decision also comes with a price tag for the United States. Washington will spend between $500 million and $600 million to shift the supply chain from Turkey elsewhere, Lord said.

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