In a June 6 letter to Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, then-Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said there was still time for Turkey "to change course on the S-400" missile system, but he also laid out a timeline of how cooperation on the next-generation fighter will wind down.
The Defense Department has said Russia's S-400 system could be used "to gather data on the capabilities of the F-35, and that the information could end up in Russian hands".
"The U.S. and other F-35 partners are aligned in this decision to suspend Turkey from the program and initiate the process to formally remove Turkey from the program", said Ellen Lord, the under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.
"The U.S. has full confidence in the F-35 and supply chain", Lord said. Washington is concerned that deploying the S-400 with the F-35 would allow Russian Federation to gain too much inside information of the stealth system.
"The F-35 can not coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities", according to a White House statement on Wednesday, reflecting the USA contention that the S-400 will provide Russia with information about the fighter jet's advanced technology.
"The United States still greatly values our strategic relationship with Turkey", Grisham said in a statement.
"At this point, the Turks have made a decision".
What did the USA say?
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Notably, Lord avoided saying that the door was shut on Turkey returning to the program should the S-400 be removed from its soil and repeatedly used the term "suspension" rather than one more definitive, such as "termination".
"Lockheed Martin has been partnering closely with the US government and our supply chain to minimize impact to the F-35 program". Likewise, Turkish pilots and maintainers being trained in the U.S. have been told to leave by the end of July.
Asked several times how Turkey having an air-defense system that cannot be linked to other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation systems and could be used to spy on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation jets would not harm alliance cohesion, Trachtenberg repeated some variation of his belief that the relationship between Turkey, the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will be able to continue. If Turkey is removed from the program, as expected, the USA will have to find alternative suppliers.
"The situation with Turkey is a government-to-government matter and we'll comply with any guidance issued by the United States Government", said a spokesperson for Lockheed Martin Corp, the prime contractor on the jet.
In a speech on July 15 (the third anniversary of the coup attempt), Erdoğan welcomed the first components of S-400 systems to Turkey, saying that "the S-400s are the strongest defense system against those who want to attack our country".
However, Lord and Trachtenberg could not definitively say Wednesday whether that offer would stand should Turkey divest its S-400 equipment in the near future.
Referring to a conversation the two leaders had at the G-20 meeting in Japan last month, Erdogan has said that Trump doesn't favor sanctions, even if they are supported by some US officials.