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Iran Press TV

Erdogan vows to develop Turkey's own fighter jets after S-400/F-35 dispute with US

Iran Press TV

Mon Sep 30, 2019 08:46AM

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey will develop its own fighter jets after the United States removed Ankara from the F-35 program over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense system.

Erdogan made the remarks at the commissioning of the fourth ship of the MILGEM project, a Turkish national warship program, in Istanbul on Sunday.

The Turkish president said he believes the new ship, TCG Kinaliada, "will make us more powerful in the sea."

According to Erdogan, Turkey is one of the 10 countries which can make a warship with its own means.

"We are building and sending off our MILGEM ships with determination. With the experience we gathered in the MILGEM project, we increased the rate of indigenousness to 70 percent," Erdogan said.

Referring to the US decision to remove Turkey from the F-35 program, Erdogan said Ankara was determined to have its own fighter jets.

"We will accomplish to make our own fighter jets, just like we did with our attack helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and armed unmanned aerial vehicles," he said. "Its time is close."

He also stressed that his country is resolved to manufacture indigenous vehicles. "Our aim is to completely remove foreign dependence in the defense industry, by 2023," Erdogan said.

"The troubles we have been going through for the past six years are to prevent Turkey from achieving these goals. As I've always been saying, they will not be successful," he added.

Ankara and Washington have been at loggerheads over Turkey's purchase of Russia's S-400, which the United States says are not compatible with NATO defenses and pose a threat to Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets.

The United States removed Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program, a move that had been long threatened, after Ankara began accepting the delivery of the advanced Russian missile defense system in July.

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