Ankara has been trying to buy American fighters since 2021, but Washington has refused to sell them due to a series of disagreements between the two countries.
The US Congress gave final approval on Sunday to the sale of F-16 fighters to Turkey after completing the review and objection process of the transaction, ending a purchase that Ankara has been trying to make since 2021.
On January 26, the State Department formally informed Congress of its intention to continue the sale of 40 Lockheed Martin F-16s and the modernization of 79 ships already in the Turkish Air Force. The decision came a day later Ankara agreed to allow Sweden to join NATO. Today, US President Joe Biden urged the chambers to approve the sale of fighters “without delay.”
Under US law, Parliament has 15 days to review the sale, if the recipient is a NATO country. In this process, the only opposition presented was that of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Although his proposal was referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, no action was taken there.
“The decision by Congress this week to approve Turkey’s acquisition of 40 new and 79 upgraded F-16 aircraft is a major step forward. “Turkey’s F-16 fleet is vital of NATO strength, ensuring future interoperability between allies,” he admitted In this regard, the US ambassador in Ankara, Jeffry L. Flake.
Turkey has been trying to buy American fighters since 2021, but the US has refused to sell them due to a series of disagreements between the two countries. In addition to the controversy over Sweden’s inclusion in NATO, there are also disagreements over Ankara’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 air defense systems, the economic relationship it maintains with Moscow and its tense relationship. in Greece.