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Pentagon may consider Turkey rejoining F-35 if it ditches Russian missile system

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said today that the United States would “consider” letting Turkey back into the F-35 program if it got rid of the Russian S-400 system.
A Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jet is seen in its hanger at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland October 28, 2015.     REUTERS/Gary Cameron     - GF20000036669

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said today the United States would “consider” allowing Turkey back into the F-35 program if Ankara formally abandoned the Russian S-400 system.

In the days leading up to the Donald Trump administration’s decision to kick Turkey out of the fighter jet program in July, after Turkey took in the $2.5 billion S-400, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had insisted that Ankara could duck US sanctions by moving the air defense system out of the country.

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