1. SOUNDBITE (English) Ellen Lord, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment:
"Last Friday, the United States learned that Turkey accepted delivery of a Russian S400 Air and Missile defense system. I'm here today to highlight three things, one the U.S. has full confidence in the F35 program and supply chain to the US and other F35 partners are aligned in this decision to suspend Turkey from the program and initiate the process to formally remove Turkey from the program. Three, as President Trump said in his statement today the U.S. still values our strategic partnership with Turkey."
++SEPARATED BY WHITE FLASH++
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Ellen Lord, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment:
"As other U.S. officials and I have clearly said Turkey cannot field a Russian intelligence collection platform in proximity to where the F35 program makes repairs and houses the F35. Much of the F35 strength lies in its stealth capabilities, so the ability to detect those capabilities would jeopardize the long term security of the F35 program. We seek only to protect the long term security of the F35 program."
LOCKHEED MARTIN VNR
3 . F-35 taking off
4. Various of F-35 flying
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Arlington, Virginia - 17 July 2019
5. SOUNDBITE (English) David Trachtenberg, Pentagon Deputy Undersecretary for Policy:
"As Undersecretary Lord said this is a rather unfortunate development and one the U.S. government has worked tirelessly to avoid. But let me be clear, the United States greatly values our strategic relationship with Turkey, that remains unchanged. As longstanding NATO allies our relationship is multilayered and extends well beyond the F35 partnership."
++SEPARATED BY WHITE FLASH++
6. SOUNDBITE (English) David Trachtenberg, Pentagon Deputy Undersecretary for Policy:
"We will continue our extensive cooperation with Turkey across the entire spectrum of our security relationship. We have been clear and consistent that Turkey can choose to acquire the S400 or F35. It cannot have both. Our decision to unwind Turkey's participation in the F35 programme is no surprise, as our concerns have repeatedly been communicated to the Turkish government."
In a major break with a longtime ally, the Trump administration on Wednesday said Turkey is being kicked out of an American-led fighter aircraft program because it is buying a Russian air defense system that would aid Russian intelligence.
The decision has significant implications for the cohesion of NATO, whose central strategic purpose is to defend against Russian aggression.
Now that NATO member Turkey has chosen to buy and deploy the Russian-made S-400 air defense, it will no longer be fully part of the alliance's air defenses, which are at the core of NATO strategy.
The U.S. government's concern is that the S-400 could be used to gather data on the capabilities of the F-35, and that the information could end up in Russian hands.
Pentagon officials sought to downplay the rift, noting that Turkey has been a key ally for more than six decades.
"The U.S. still values our strategic partnership with Turkey," said Ellen Lord, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer, who told a news conference that the U.S. has suspended Turkey from the F-35 program and is beginning the process of its formal removal. Lord said Turkey stands to lose $9 billion in future earnings as an F-35 parts supplier.
David Trachtenberg, the Pentagon deputy undersecretary for policy, told reporters the U.S.-Turkey military partnership "remains very strong," and that U.S. and Turkish forces will continue to exercise together.
He declined to explain how Turkey can remain a full partner in NATO's integrated air defense while using a weapon system built by NATO's chief adversary.
It's clear, however, that senior U.S. officials worry about the future of the relationship with Turkey.
Mark Esper, Trump's nominee to be the next secretary of defense, told his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday that it is "very disheartening to see how they have drifted over the past several years" away from the West.
Although it is never publicly acknowledged by the U.S. government, the Pentagon stores nuclear weapons at Turkey's Incirlik air base.
Some national security experts question the wisdom of continuing that arrangement, given Turkey's drift.
Earlier this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government hopes to co-produce high-tech weaponry systems with Russia in the future, further defying the United States and other NATO allies.
Turkey refused to bow to U.S. pressure, saying its Russia deal is a matter of national sovereignty and that the agreement could not be cancelled.
The decision to remove Turkey from the F-35 program had been expected, although administration officials spent months trying to talk the Turks into reversing course.
The final straw was Turkey's announcement last weekend that it has begun taking delivery from Russia of components for the air defense system, called the S-400.
Lord said the process of fully removing Turkey is under way and should be completed by next March 31. She refused to say whether the decision could be reversed.
Turkey makes more than 900 components for the stealth aircraft, which is sold internationally.
Removing it as a supplier means the Pentagon is lining up alternative manufacturers for those parts.
Lord said many of those alternatives will be American suppliers, and that the Pentagon is spending between $500 million and $600 million "to shift the supply chain."
Weapons manufacturing , Aerospace and defense industry , Industrial products and services , Business , Government and politics , Military and defense , Air force , Armed forces , Defense policy , Government policy , Defense policy
Recep Tayyip Erdogan , Mark Esper
North Atlantic Treaty Organization, U.S. Department of Defense, United States government