Turkey, a USA-NATO ally, has been planning to purchase 100 F-35 fighter jets from the USA. But for now it looks better for Ankara to buy the Russian versions of very capable military aircrafts.
However, the USA announced its decision to halt shipments of F-35-related equipment due to Ankara’s plans to purchase Russia’s unmatched S-400 missile defense system.
A lot of it now depends upon whether Ankara remains a member of the NATO alliance.
In terms of just looking at cost-benefits, it would be tremendously advantageous for Ankara to purchase high-tech Russian MiG or Sukhoi fighter jets, because Russia doesn’t have the same obligations.
Russia is not asking Ankara to be a member of a strategic military alliance, as say opposed to America, so of course it would be advantageous for actually both parties, for both Russia and Turkey for the sale of these fighter jets to go through.
In terms of military capabilities, the F-35 is one of the most advanced aircraft in the world, it has both stealth functions, it could perform amphibious landing and take-off, it’s a vertical take-off and landing platform and it is revolutionary in terms of the next generation fighter.
However, a report on the F-35 last year from the US Government Accountability Office showed that the aircraft still had 111 Category One deficiencies that may cause death, severe injury, loss or major damage.
But in terms of it being a NATO partner, it would be beneficial because you can ‘train’ with other NATO countries.
The UK has purchased F-35 fighters, the Israelis have F-35 fighters, so there’s a lot of advantages in terms of bilateral relations and training, and particularly with NATO.
NATO prefers different countries to use the same military aircraft, but there’s always, shall we say, costs attached to that.
So you’ve got to look at it from the US perspective, first of all. Secondly, the world is more multi-polar. We are seeing a rise of Russia, while it is becoming more of great power.
China is also a great power. The world has moved on from the uni-polar world, the world is now multi-polar. So in that kind of geo-strategic calculus, the world has become more crowded.
And what that means in terms of Turkey, [is that] Turkey is starting to reassess its security relations with its neighbor which is Russia. Russia is a key actor in the region.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point WW III News 2019.