Turkey demands warplanes
The United States supports Erdogan’s F-16 plans
6/29/2022, 4:02 p.m.
Turkey has long demanded F-16 fighter jets from the United States. In Washington, however, the deal is controversial. But now there are positive signals coming from Washington. Not long ago, Ankara lifted the ban on Finland and Sweden joining NATO.
The U.S. government supports President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plan to modernize the Turkish navy with F-16 fighter jets. Such a move would “contribute to the security of NATO and thereby the security of the United States,” said Celeste Valenter, the US Secretary of Defense’s Secretary of State for International Security Affairs, on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid. . “Therefore, the U.S. Department of Defense fully supports plans to modernize Turkey’s F-16 fleet. These plans are ongoing.”
Erdogan has previously accused the United States of “delaying tactics.” Before leaving for the NATO summit, he said in Ankara on Tuesday that the modernization of the US-made F-16 fleet was the most important topic currently being discussed between Ankara and Washington. On Tuesday evening, Erdogan dropped the siege to allow Finland and Sweden into NATO, much to the anger of Turkey, the United States and other allies. Following the agreement, it was officially stated that Turkey would be accommodated in the fight against arms exports and terrorism.
The sale of US warplanes to Turkey has been a long-running debate: in fact, NATO was part of a plan to build the US warplane F-35, and to buy it. However, after the government in Ankara purchased the Russian S-400 missile defense system in 2017, the US government excluded Turkey from the F-35 program. There were concerns in Washington that data on the P-35’s stealth capabilities could be obtained using the Russia S – 400 weapons system’s sensitive radar.
Late last year, Erdogan announced that the United States had supplied Turkey with F-16 jets instead of F-35s. According to the Turkish Ministry of Defense, Ankara has requested 40 new F-16 and 79 upgrade equipment for the F-16 jets already in service. However, a possible deal in Washington has so far been politically controversial.
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