Turkish media earlier carried reports about possible purchase by Turkey of Russian Su-57 fighters in the event the United States refuses to supply Turkey with F-35 fighters.
“Why do we buy S-400 [air defense systems]? Because we have an urgent need for an air defense system. We are already partners in the F-35 manufacturing program, we participate in this project, we have paid the necessary amount. There are currently no problems with this. But in the worst case scenario, we will have to satisfy our need in another place, where the best technologies will be offered,” Cavusoglu said.
Mevlut Cavusoglu has also noted that Ankara had no intention to hand over S-400 air defense missile systems bought from Russia to Qatar and Azerbaijan.
“There is no talk about plans to place the S-400 in Qatar or Azerbaijan. We have never discussed such an issue,” Cavusoglu said.
Turkish media earlier reported on the possible handover by Ankara of S-400 systems to Qatar and Azerbaijan.
Earlier in April, Cavusoglu argued that Ankara would find a substitute for the F-35 if the United States refused to deliver the aircraft to Turkey to penalize the country for its purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defence systems.
Earlier in the month, the Pentagon announced that Washington halted deliveries and activities with Turkey on F-35 fighter jet program over Ankara’s decision to buy the Russian S-400 air defence systems.
The Russian-Turkish cooperation on S-400 deliveries has been criticised by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United States, which have cited security concerns and an inability of integration between S-400 and NATO’s air defence systems.
Ankara, in its turn, has said that purchase of military equipment is its sovereign affair and ruled out the possibility of abandoning its plans. The first shipment of S-400 air defence systems is expected to be delivered to Ankara in July.