Washington announces stop training of Turkish pilots

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The United States says Ankara can not have the Russian system and US fighters at the same time, fearing that Moscow could be aware of the US fighter manufacturing program.

Americans fear using S-400 battery technology to collect data on NATO military aircraft, and that this information reaches Russia, as they point to problems about the operational compatibility of Russian systems with NATO systems.

The suspension came a few days after US Defense Secretary Patrick Chanahan told his Turkish counterpart that Turkish pilots already in the United States could stay there until the end of July.

This would have given time for further training and also for Turkey to rethink its plans.

"The ministry is aware that the Turkish pilots at Locke Air Base will not fly," said Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews, a spokesman for the Pentagon.

"Unless there is a change in Turkish policy, we will continue to work closely with our Turkish ally on ending his participation in the F-35 fighter program."

If Turkey is excluded from the US fighter program, experts say, it would be one of the biggest cracks in the relationship with the United States in recent history.



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