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Poland Wants to Buy F-35s if US Ejects Turkey from Program – Reports

CC0 / / F-35A
F-35A - Sputnik International
Polish authorities want to get American F-35 fighter jets faster if the United States refuses to supply Turkey with their jets amid Ankara’s deal with Russia to obtain the S-400 air defence system.

F-35 procurement is a part of the technical modernization plan of the Polish Armed Forces, a source told RIA News agency, adding that Polish authorities are closely watching the conflict between Turkey and the United States over Ankara’s purchase of S-400 complexes, as it may disrupt the sale of F-35s.

“Poland, so to speak, is in the queue for these planes, and even if the United States wants to sell these planes to Poland, under normal conditions, Warsaw did not have a chance to get them before Turkey. And now Turkey will simply be removed from the queue,” the source said.

F-35A  - Sputnik International
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Earlier, Ankara stressed that they would not refuse to buy the S-400 as they await the arrival of the first batch in July. The United States declared that the S-400 is incompatible with NATO standards. US Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan has given Turkey until July 31 to back out of its S-400 deal with Russia, warning that Washington would suspend Ankara's involvement in the F-35 program if it goes through with the purchase of the Russian-made air defence system.

READ MORE: Turkey Has 'Plans B, C, D' to Replace F-35 With Su-57, J-31 if US Blocks Delivery – Report

Earlier in March, the Polish defence minister signed a technical modernization plan for the country's armed forces until 2026. Under this program, Poland plans to buy 32 fifth-generation multi-purpose F-35 jets by 2026. These planes are being purchased in order to replace Poland’s Soviet-made Su-22 and MiG-29 aircraft.

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