Russia could join Turkey's next-generation fighter program

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While voices are being raised in the American Congress to suspend the delivery of F-35A to Turkey, the latter has confirmed that contacts had been made with the Russian aeronautical industryabout the new generation TF-X fighter, officially announced on April 26.

This announcement comes following another announcement, confirming not only the purchase of 6 S-400 systems by Turkey, but possible additional orders, technology transfers and even the possible purchase of the future S-system 500, specialized in the fight against ballistic missiles, even though a new conference bringing together Russians, Turks and Iranians was held yesterday on the subject of Syria.

It seems increasingly clear that President Receipt Erdogan is acting to provoke a split with NATO, and the West. Luxembourg has, as such, officially raised the question of a possible exclusion of Turkey from the Atlantic alliance.

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Entering into Erdogan's game, and letting Turkey leave NATO, is certainly not an easy, or inconsequential, decision for the alliance. Turkey represents, numerically speaking, the second largest army in NATO, and has always been a strong point of support both in eastern Europe and in the Middle East.

In addition, Turkey controls the straits linking the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, and the shift in alliance would put all the countries bordering the Black Sea in a weak situation, whether Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine or Georgia, this the latter finding herself singularly isolated in this case.

Finally, in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey's change of alliance would lead to the rapid deterioration of the situation in the Aegean Sea, but also in Cyprus. However, Greece is only just beginning to recover from the very severe economic crisis that brought it to its knees, and its capacity to support its defense effort is limited to say the least. But it is clearly with a view to Turkey reconnecting with its expansionist past that Greece had asked France for the possibility of renting 5 FREMM frigates and their MdCN missiles for 2 years, even though Turkey has announced that it wants extend the range of its cruise missiles.

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