Turkey asks United States to buy 40 F-16 fighters to boost Air Force

Turkey ask US buy F16
Turkish Air Force F-16 figters.

Turkey recently asked the United States to purchase 40 F-16 fighters and 80 modernization kits for its existing fleet, Reuters reported.

The news comes just days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government was planning to expand defense ties with Russia.

Such request must be approved by the U.S. State Department within the Foreign Military Sales (FMS), however, considering the growing tensions between the United States and Turkey, it could also be ruled.

The United States kicked Turkey out of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program in 2019 after Ankara bought Russia's S-400 air defense system. US officials said the Russian weapon poses a threat to the F-35.

Erdogan has often tried to use his relations with Russia to obtain concessions from Washington, but the current US administration is not very keen on doing business with him.

Last year Trump imposed limited sanctions on the Turkish government's main defense production body. The Biden administration has promised to add more sanctions if Ankara purchases additional Russian primary hardware.

Erdogan recently said he would pursue plans to acquire additional S-400 units from Russia, defying Washington's warnings.

Ties between the two nations have deteriorated further in the past year. US support for Kurdish-led militias in Syria in the midst of the multinational war against the Islamic State has made matters worse with Ankara, which views Kurdish fighters as terrorists and fears their greater autonomy.

The latest multibillion-dollar arms demand would likely go smoothly under normal circumstances, but Erdogan's policies, including internal human rights, have sparked unprecedented opposition in Congress. Lawmakers on both sides have encouraged the Biden administration to take a tougher stance towards Ankara.

Turkey aims to bolster its combat fleet after its main rival, Greece, bought 24 Rafales from France and demanded the US endorsement to purchase lethal F-35 fighters. Erdogan said that if the United States refuses, he will turn to Russia.

👉 You may also like: Greece officially asks United States to buy F-35 stealth fighter

Written by Matteo Sanzani

No comments

All comments related to the contents of our articles are welcome. It is not allowed to post promotional messages, links to external sites, or references to activities not related to this blog.

Powered by Blogger.