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    US against any country purchasing S-400 defence system from Russia: Pentagon

    Synopsis

    The remarks by a top Pentagon official came in response to a question on India going ahead with its decision to purchase the S-400 missile defence system from Russia.

    PTI
    WASHINGTON: The US is keen to make its defence partnership with India stronger, the Pentagon has said, but made it clear that it is against any country purchasing military equipment, including the S-400 missile defence system from Russia, that is designed to counter America's sophisticated fifth-generation aircraft.

    The remarks by a top Pentagon official came in response to a question on India going ahead with its decision to purchase the S-400 missile defence system from Russia.

    India inked an agreement with Russia last October to procure a batch of the S-400 missile systems at a cost of Rs 40,000 crore.

    "Our defence partnership with India I think is strong and we're looking to make it ever stronger," David J Trachtenberg, the deputy under secretary of defence for policy, told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday.

    When asked if the US can have a major defence partnership with India, which is going ahead with a decision to buy the S-400, Trachtenberg said, "I think the message we are sending is that we want to make sure that other countries are not purchasing equipment that is designed to counter our sophisticated fifth-generation aircraft."

    "The other message we're sending is that we are consistent in our approach on this."

    Trachtenberg's comments also come a day after President Donald Trump has announced that the US would not sell the F-35 fighter jets to Turkey after Ankara purchased the S-400 missile defence system from sanctions-hit Russia.

    Trachtenberg said America's decision to unwind Turkey's participation in the F-35 programme was no surprise as its concerns had repeatedly been communicated to the Turkish government.

    "Our reaction today is a specific response to a specific event. It is separate and distinct from the broader range of security interests where the United States and Turkey work together against common threats," he said.

    The official said the military-to-military relationship between the two countries remained strong. He added that the US would continue to participate with Turkey in multilateral exercises, as well as engage with the country on a broad range of NATO issues.

    "While Turkey's decision is unfortunate, ensuring the security and integrity of the F-35 programme and the capabilities it will provide to our partners remains our top priority," Trachtenberg said.

    Undersecretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord said when Turkey began publicly discussing its interest in the Russian-made missile defence system since early 2017, the US government had consistently communicated that the F-35 and S-400 were incompatible.

    "Turkey cannot field a Russian intelligence collection platform in proximity to where the F-35 programme makes repairs and houses the F-35. Much of the F-35 strength lies in its stealth capabilities," she said.

    "So, the ability to detect those capabilities would jeopardise the long-term security of the F-35 programme," she said.
    (Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

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    12 Comments on this Story

    Sanyam Jain387 days ago
    This is real terrorism. A country dictating others for its own interests.
    Kinnu388 days ago
    A trusted friend is better than a fair weather friend, we don’t know when US will jump to dome other dude it’s most unreliable so we go with Russia and keep US guessing
    Venkat Iyer388 days ago
    China has the S400 - already deployed in larger numbers than what we plan - and will work up protocols to avoid our s400 - so it''s effectiveness against one of our two enemies is already suspect. Unless we get a stealth attack aircraft, we will be unable to avoid the Chinese S400. Once the China Pakistan road through POK is completed, we have no way to know if some of the Chinese s400 trucks are in Kashmir theater as well. Russia is making money selling arms to both sides. What''s to prevent them selling to Pakistan (except they can''t pay for it - but China can). We really must not trust the Russians - last cold war we sided with the Russians and lost our permanent seat in UN (we could have got China''s seat) and faced sanctions from NSG for NPT. If we had sided with US we could have benefitted greatly.
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