Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan's comments came a day after the Pentagon suspended the delivery of equipment related to the F-35 fighter jet to Ankara.

Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan arrives to testify to the House Armed Forces Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, US on March 26, 201
Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan arrives to testify to the House Armed Forces Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, US on March 26, 201 (Reuters)

Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Tuesday that he expected to resolve a dispute with Turkey over its purchase of Russia's S-400 air defence system.

On Monday, the Pentagon said it had suspended the delivery of equipment related to the stealthy F-35 fighter jet "pending an unequivocal Turkish decision to forgo delivery of the S-400."

Shanahan expressed optimism that both countries would find a way out of the crisis by persuading Turkey to purchase the Patriot defence system, instead of S-400s.

"I expect we'll solve the problem so that they have the right defence equipment in terms of Patriots and F-35s," Shanahan told reporters at the Pentagon.

Shanahan added that he expected the US to ultimately carry out the delivery of F-35s currently at Luke Air Force base to Turkey, after resolving the dispute. 

The second group of Turkish pilots are receiving training on two aircraft at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. The first group of Turkish pilots and instructor-pilots have already graduated from the training program at the base.

The disagreement over the F-35 is the latest in a series of diplomatic disputes between the US and Turkey, including Turkish demands that the US extradite the leader of Fetullah Terror Organisation (FETO), Fetullah Gulen, differences over Middle East policy and the war in Syria. 

Source: Reuters