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Tillis, Lankford, Shaheen & Van Hollen Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Prohibit Transfer of F-35 Aircraft to Turkey

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), James Lankford (R-OK), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced a bipartisan bill to prohibit the transfer of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to Turkey until our government certifies that Turkey will not accept delivery of Russia’s S-400 air defense system. Under the US-led, multinational Joint Strike Fighter program, Turkey is expected to accept delivery of the F-35 as early as next fall.

“Turkey is an important NATO partner and strategic ally, and I was greatly encouraged by Turkey’s release of Pastor Andrew Brunson last year,” said Senator Tillis. “However, I remain deeply concerned about their attempts to buy and install the S-400 air defense system from Russia, an adversary of NATO. I strongly urge Turkey to cease this deal immediately so we can deliver the F-35 as originally planned and continue to work towards advancing the common interests of our countries.”

Last year, Tillis, Lankford, and Shaheen introduced a similar bill to stop the transfer of fighter aircraft to Turkey their government committed a number human rights violations, including the unjust imprisonment of an American pastor Andrew Brunson. Pastor Brunson was released in October 2018 after being detained for two years. A version of the bill was included as an amendment in the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act directing the Secretary of Defense to submit a plan to Congress to remove Turkey from participation in the F-35 program.

For a copy of the bill click here.

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