US Senate votes to block sale of JSF F-35 jets to Turkey

US Senate votes to block sale of JSF F-35 jets to Turkey

The US Senate voted to block the transfer of the F-35 fighter jet to Turkey, reflecting increasing tension with a Nato ally, in a move that could ultimately hold up the sale of 100 warplanes worth close to $10bn.

A bipartisan clause added to the National Defense Authorization Act — passed by the Senate late on Monday by a vote of 85 to 10 — would prohibit the transfer of F-35s to Turkey until a plan is submitted to cut Turkey from participation in the programme.

US senators made the intervention given concerns over Turkey’s stated intent to install the Russian-built S400 air defence system, which Pentagon officials fear would put the secrets of the F-35 and the data it collects at risk. Turkey is one of 14 Nato members that help construct the stealth jet, along with the UK, Norway and Israel.

The bill, which must still be passed by the House of Representatives, could undergo further changes in the reconciliation process and is not expected to become law until later in the summer.



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