A US Senate committee has passed a defense policy bill that bars the sale of advanced F-35 warplanes to NATO partner Turkey, faulting Ankara for its purchase of an air defense system from Russia.
The amendment to the $716 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), passed on Thursday, was proposed by Democratic Senator from Michigan Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Senator for North Carolina Thom Tillis.
It removed Turkey from the F-35 program over its S-400 purchase from Russia as well as imprisonment of an American Christian pastor in Turkey on spying and terrorism charges.
Shaheen’s office stated that Ankara’s intention to buy the Russian surface-to-air missile batteries was “sanctionable” under US law.
“There is tremendous hesitancy (about) transferring sensitive F-35 planes and technology to a nation who has purchased a Russian air defense system designed to shoot these very planes down,” said the Michigan…