April 01, 2019

Van Hollen Statement on Decision to Halt Transfer of F-35 Equipment to Turkey

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding the Pentagon’s decision to halt the transfer of equipment related to the F-35 fighter aircraft to Turkey as the Turkish government continues efforts to obtain the S-400 missile defense system from Russia:

“I’m pleased to see that the Pentagon is heeding our calls to stop the transfer of F-35 related equipment to Turkey. Turkey operating both the S-400 missile and the F-35 is a non-starter. It puts our national security at risk and undermines our NATO allies. I will continue working in the Senate to prevent this dangerous possibility from becoming a reality.”

Senator Van Hollen has repeatedly underlined the threat that allowing Turkey to obtain both the S-400 and the F-35 poses to the United States’ national security. He secured language restricting the transfer of F-35 aircraft to Turkish territory for not less than six months in the Fiscal Year 2019 omnibus appropriations law, predicated on a report to Congress about removing Turkey from the F-35 program. Most recently he and a bipartisan group of Senators introduced legislation barring the transfer of F-35s to Turkey unless it gives up the S-400.