Senator Lankford Responds to White House Statement on Turkey Accepting Russian S-400

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today issued the following statement after the White House announced they would not allow for the purchase of US F-35 by Turkey after they obtained the Russian S-400 air defense system:

“When I first introduced a bill in April 2018 to stop the transfer of the F-35 to Turkey, it was the hope that they would change direction and not partner with Russia. Unfortunately, Turkey has ignored multiple warnings and they will have to face the consequences of their decision. The White House’s decision is welcomed news which will protect US technology by not allowing Turkey to purchase our fifth-generation fighter jets.”


In April 2018, Senators Lankford, Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced a bill to prevent the transfer of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to Turkey. The same Senators secured a provision in the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that directed the Secretary of Defense to submit a plan to Congress that removed Turkey from participation in the F-35 program. In the 116th Congress, Lankford, Shaheen, Tillis, and Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced a bill to prohibit the transfer of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to Turkey until the US certifies that Turkey would not purchase Russian S-400 air defense system. Days after the bill was introduced, the Pentagon announced they suspended F-35 equipment to Turkey. The same group of bipartisan Senators cosponsored a provision to the defense bill to prohibit the transfer of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to Turkey. Last week, the Senators responded to the news that Turkey had accepted the Russian Air Defense System.