Ankara likely to drop bid for US F-16s, Turkish official says

TEHRAN, Mar. 06 (MNA) – Ankara is likely to reverse its decision to purchase the US F-16 fighter jets due to the price as well as other more modern options being available, a member of Turkish Presidency’s Security & Foreign Policies Council said.

In late February, US State Secretary Antony Blinken said that the US cannot sell F-16 fighter jets to Turkey without approval from Congress, which means that its concerns regarding Greece's stance and Sweden and Finland's NATO bids need to be addressed.

"I believe that after the earthquakes Turkey will give up asking for F-16 because it is a $20 billion cost package," Cagri Erhan said, Sputnik reported.

He believes the Turkish government made a mistake by asking for F-16s, which Congress is still refusing to give under "some pretext" and which are outdated and not competitive against other jets.

"Turkey should immediately make a decision to change its decision from F-16 to some other. For instance, F-35 was on the table. Turkey was expecting from the program [to get F-35]. Now we have other options like the Chinese jet, which was sold to Pakistan, Russian jets and also Eurofighter jet," Erhan stated.

On January 18, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara was hoping to overcome the difficulties on F-16s with Washington, noting that the purchase was in line with the joint strategic interests of both countries.

In April 2021, the US excluded Turkey from the F-35 program after Ankara had purchased Russia's S-400 air defense systems. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said later that year that Turkey had received a US offer to buy F-16 jets instead, one generation behind the F-35s. The US Congress has been debating whether to include restrictions on the sale of jets in its annual defense spending bill for fiscal 2023, while the US State Department has been trying to convince lawmakers that the deal was aligned with Washington's interests.


News Code 198151


Your Comment

You are replying to: .
  • captcha