Washington ready to sell new F-16s to Turkey according to RT Erdogan

Relations between the United States and Turkey have been, in recent years, more strained, and tinged with a lying poker game in which President Erdogan seems to be playing with a certain relish on the international scene. But since the entry into service of the S-400 long-range anti-aircraft systems acquired from Russia, the position of the Turkish president has become considerably more complex with the sanctioning by Washington of what is sometimes presented, so questionable, like “NATO's second army”, depriving Ankara of certain key technologies for its own defense programs, like the Altay tank and the T129 helicopter. Worse still, this led to the country's exclusion from the F-35 program, and the cancellation of the order for 100 aircraft which were to constitute a determining component of the progress of the Turkish military tool. Since then, the country's authorities have tried, in vain, to play the block opposition, sometimes in approaching Moscow to hint at an upcoming order for Su-35 fighters and even Su-57 and a collaboration with the Russian defense industry, at other times by attempting more or less strong overtures towards Washington, in particular when Donald Trump was still in the White House.

The situation is not much clearer on the part of the United States, which wielded carrot and stick against Turkey in a haphazard and ineffective manner, threatening escalating sanctions. if Ankara were, for example, to order new batteries of S-400, while continuing to depend on Turkish industry for certain parts of the F-35 program, from which it has itself been officially excluded, and by granting exemptions for certain exports of defense equipment, in order to allow Ankara to preserve its own export contracts. In addition, the United States has still not ruled on the $ 1,4 billion already paid by Turkey under the F-35 program, for aircraft that it has not received, and that it will probably never receive.

The first examples of F-35A produced for Turkey were donated to the US Air Force

It is in this more than opaque context that President Erdogan announced, during an interview given this Sunday, that the United States had agreed to sell new F-16s to Turkey, in compensation for the same $ 1,4 billion already paid by Ankara, without however giving more details as to a possible timetable, or concerning the number and type of aircraft concerned. A few days earlier, the Turkish authorities had announced that they had requested, within the framework of Foreign Military Sales, the Pentagon's program for the sale of standardized weapons, to acquire 40 new F-16s at the Block 70/72 Viper standard, as well as 80 modernization kits to upgrade part of its own F-16 fleet to this standard. However, we must be very careful about the credit to be given to these statements.

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