F-35 (L) and Sukhoi Su-35 (R)

Washington risks losing the Turkish arms market if it continues to delay the delivery of F-35s agreed upon with Ankara, as Turkey can simply switch to buying warplanes from Russia, RT was told.

“If the US fails to ship the jets to Turkey, Ankara can certainly buy the Su-35s from Russia instead,” Viktor Litovkin, a military analyst with the Moscow-based TASS news agency, told RT.

“The US will end up losing the arms market in Turkey should that happen”

Both aircraft have comparable characteristics, Litovkin said, adding that Moscow wouldn’t risk leaking sensitive military technology because the jet’s software is hard to crack. It would not require much effort to smoothly integrate the planes into the Turkish military either.

Politicians in Washington have been trying to pressure key NATO ally Turkey to drop its deal to buy S-400 anti-air missile defense systems from Moscow. This week, US senators tabled a draft bill calling for a ban on the transfer of 100 F-35s, previously agreed with Turkey, unless it guarantees that it won’t buy weapons from Russia. The delivery of the US-made planes was already effectively blocked by the Senate last year. – RT