Turkey Requests 40 Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighter Jets
Turkey has made a request to purchase 40 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets and 80 modernization kits for their warplanes.
Turkey, tangled in a military-purchase balancing act between Washington and Moscow, has been facing a rift with the United States over a $1.4 billion defense deal which has yielded nothing but zero - neither did Turkey receive their F-35s, nor did they get their money back.
As the NATO-ally has been under US sanctions for a significant S-400 missile defense system deal with Russia and has also been experiencing the lowest devaluation of its currency in its time, Turkey still tries to warm up to Washington.
Friday, October 8, Turkey has made a request to purchase 40 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets and 80 modernization kits for their already existing warplanes.
Turkey aims to modernize its military with F-16s, although tensions with the US have been escalating since 2019 when Ankara was removed from the multinational consortium for building the F-35 jets. Turkey, in total, had ordered 100 F-35 jets.
"As a matter of policy, the Department does not confirm or comment on proposed defense sales or transfers until they have been formally notified to Congress," a spokesperson for the State Department said.
Recently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan assured Turkey's intentions to buy a second batch of S-400 missile defense systems from Russia, which might trigger new US sanctions.
In an interview with CBS News on Sunday, 27th of September, Erdogan stressed that such decisions are taken only by Turkey and that "nobody will be able to interfere in terms of what kind of defense systems" his country acquires.
Last December, the US imposed sanctions on Turkey's Defense Industry Directorate, its chief, and other employees, following the country's acquisition of the first batch of S-400s.
A US State Department spokesperson urged Turkey to avoid purchasing any additional Russian military equipment, adding that any significant new Russian arms purchases would risk triggering CAATSA 231 sanctions, referring to 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. The sanctions imposed on Turkey in 2018 have led to heavy depreciation of the Turkish lira.