April 30, 2019 / 9:27 AM / a year ago

Erdogan says F-35 project would collapse without Turkey

ANKARA, April 30 (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that an F-35 fighter jet project without Turkey was bound to collapse, and added that Ankara was being treated unfairly over the project.

Turkey plans to buy Russian S-400 missile defence systems, straining ties with the United States, which has said they would compromise the security of the Lockheed Martin F-35 jets. Ankara is both a prospective buyer of F-35s and also a partner in their production.

Speaking at a defence industry fair, Erdogan said those trying to exclude Turkey from the F-35 project had not thought it through and added that Ankara was rapidly taking steps to develop its own air defence systems. (Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay Editing by Dominic Evans)

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