U.S. defense chief hints Turkey will drop S-400 bid

"It's a done deal", Çavuşoğlu said during the "NATO Engages" event in Washington, D.C., to mark the alliance's 70th anniversary.

Germany was the only country out of these major powers to say they were more unwilling than willing to defend the USA, 43 per cent to 32 per cent; by contrast, 54 per cent of Americans think they should defend Germany should she find herself attacked by Russian Federation.

But on Tuesday the acting USA defense secretary, Pat Shanahan, predicted confidently that Turkey would reverse its decision to purchase an advanced Russian missile defense system.

The S-400 "Triumf" is one of the most sophisticated surface-to-air missile systems in the world. Russian Federation will deliver the first batch of the defence batteries in late 2019.

A small number of Turkish pilots are already training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona on the next-generation aircraft and some of the plane's parts are manufactured in Turkey.

Turkey has engaged with United States negotiators in recent days about buying the Patriot system, a person familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.

After years of focusing on more faraway challenges such as Afghanistan, NATO allies in recent years have increasingly voiced worry about the trajectory of Russian Federation under President Vladimir Putin.

In an attempt to persuade Turkey to drop its plans to buy the S-400, the United States offered the pricier American-made Patriot anti-missile system in a discounted deal that expired at the end of March.

Turkey, however, has said the system is insufficient for its needs. On Monday, the Pentagon announced it had suspended deliveries to Turkey of equipment related to the F-35s and threatened to cut its participation in the program if they went ahead with procuring the S-400. "Does it want to remain Turkey's ally or risk our friendship by joining forces with terrorists to undermine its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally's defense against its enemies?"

This week Turkey also released footage of its new hypersonic rail gun which China, the U.S. and Russian Federation have all sort to develop.

Last week, Sens. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma; Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland.; and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., introduced legislation over concern Turkey's planned S-400 purchase would pose a risk to US national security.

Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan is showing no signs of yielding to the United States. The Trump administration recently canceled the sale of advanced F-35 war planes to Turkey as a result of this behavior, which Pence said is unacceptable. "But we must not be naive", Stoltenberg said.

Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) last week opened a forward operating base in southeastern Şanlıurfa province near the Syrian border with the attendance of Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and top military command.

The Turkish military completed preparations for a cross border operation to the region east of the Euphrates River to clear PKK-affiliated terrorists, which have been posing a national security threat for Ankara, out of northern Syria.

  • Jon Douglas