The United States has blocked shipment of F-35 technology to Turkey over a Turkish decision to purchase S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia. Why didn't Turkey wait until they had acquired the F-35 technology and it was fully integrated into their military before going to Russia for air defense technology? The United States would then be unable to prevent Turkey from obtaining both technologies.

Could it be simply an internal acquisition schedule unrelated to politics? Or maybe the sale of F-35s entails long term support that the US could withhold, placing them in the same position they are in today?

closed as off-topic by Denis de Bernardy, Glorfindel, JJJ, John Dallman, Machavity May 24 at 18:27

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Your last thought is correct. Having the plane and no spare parts to fly it would be worse than not having it at all.

  • 3
    If it were only parts - the F-35 most likely needs regular software updates/patches. I doubt that one can operate it "offline" from the USA for very long. – Martin Schröder May 24 at 19:57

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