RUSSIA could learn top UK military secrets and use them to discover and exploit potentially-disastrous “vulnerabilities”, a US senator has warned.
US Senator Chris Van Hollen has added a provision to a senate bill which would shelve the sale to Turkey until US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certifies that the country will not purchase the S-400.
Mr Van Hollen said: “I support the transfer of F-35 advanced aircraft to Turkey, but not if they proceed with the acquisition of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
“This move would jeopardise the national security of the United States and our other allies. Turkey’s acquisition of both systems would allow the Russians to more easily evaluate the capabilities of the F-35 and detect and exploit its vulnerabilities. That is unacceptable.”
“This provision makes it clear that if Turkey ignores the concerns of its Nato allies and moves forward with this partnership with Putin, it will no longer receive F-35s.”
Mark Francois MP, a member of the Defence Select Committee, told the Telegraph: "The UK is investing a tremendous amount of money in the F-35 and part of the reason for that is the stealth technology. We wouldn't want to see anything compromise that capability and that includes the sale of the S-400 to Turkey."
"This will undoubtedly be causing concern in the MoD as it is fairly obvious the Russians are trying to draw them in."
Concerns have been heightened by the perception that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is becoming increasingly closely allied with Mr Putin’s Russia, which he believes offered him more steadfast support after 2016’s failed coup.
Mr Erdogan has also been angered by the fact that the US views Kurdish militia groups in Syria as allies, despite the fact that Kurdish forces have clashed with the Turkish military on numerous occasions in recent years.
“We can’t be any clearer in saying both privately and publicly: a decision on S-400 will qualitatively change the US-Turkish relationship in a way that would be very difficult to repair.”
He added: “Any information would have considerable military utility and there is an inherent risk in those two systems being in the same military.”