​​​​​​​Senators criticize the failure of the Pentagon to cut cooperation with Turkey

Members of the US Senate criticized the US Department of Defense for postponing Turkey's removal from the joint manufacturing program for US F-35 aircraft.

A report by the American al-Monitor website said that the Pentagon still allowed Turkey to produce components for an American F-35 fighter aircraft, in violation of the defense law signed by President Donald Trump in December.

Senator James Lancford and three other senators wrote a bipartisan letter to US Defense Secretary Mark Esper: "Unfortunately, Turkish manufacturers still produce and provide key components of the plane despite a legal ban on such participation in the manufacturing line, and we believe that there is a need to more urgency, we hope the process will speed up to ensure Turkey is removed from the manufacturing line. "

The letter was signed by Senator Jane Shaheen, Tom Teles, and Chris Van Holen.

The United States formally expelled Turkey from the F-35 co-production program last year because of Ankara's purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

However, the US Defense Department announced that Turkish companies will continue to participate in the American combat parts production program, until the end of 2022, in a retreat from the termination of their contracts by the end of this year.

The four senators accused the Ministry of Defense of "obstructing our country's diplomatic and geopolitical efforts to put pressure Turkey to reverse its course."

They wrote: "It is clear from these laws that Congress was planning to make this transition within months, not years." Senators added: "We encourage the US Secretary of Defense to review the current approach and take action to ensure an urgent removal of Turkey from the manufacturing line as required by law."

It is worth noting that Turkey tested the S-400 on US-made combat aircraft last year, but it delayed the full operation of the missile system, under the pretext of the spread of the Corona pandemic.



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