The United States’ sale of new 40 F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye is not subject to any conditions as the Greek media has claimed, the Turkish sources have said, underlining that these warplanes will be used in line with the security needs of the Turkish Armed Forces.
“Contrary to what is claimed by some Greek media outlets, Türkiye’s F-16 procurement and modernization [of existing fleets] issue is not subject to any conditions,” the Defense Ministry sources told the reporters on Feb. 1.
Some Greek news sites claimed that the U.S. agreed to deliver 40 new F-16s to Türkiye on the condition that they wouldn’t fly over the Greek islands in the Aegean.
The U.S. administration notified the U.S. Congress on the sale of 40 F-16s and 79 modernization kits to Türkiye on Jan. 26, on the day it did the same for the sale of F-35s to Greece.
Sources said the works for the delivery of the demanded warplanes and ammunition will begin as soon as the congressional approval is completed. The U.S. Congress has 15 days to raise its objections to the sale of military equipment. It will be automatically approved if there are no objections from the U.S. congressmen.
No changes on S-400 and F-35 saga
The sources have also responded to the questions about recent statements by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who suggested that Washington would be happy to see Türkiye back in the F-35 consortium should it resolve the long-standing problem on the Turkish deployment of Russian S-400 air defense systems.
“This issue has been widely discussed. At the moment, there is no change in either side’s stance. These statements from the U.S. should be read as a statement of goodwill,” the sources stressed.
Türkiye was expelled from the F-35 joint fighter project in 2019 after it deployed the S-400 air defense systems from Russia. The U.S. says the radar systems of the S-400 would jeopardize the safety of the F-35s. Washington denied Ankara’s requests to launch a joint technical study on the U.S. concerns. The U.S. has also seized the F-35s Türkiye has already paid for.
Washington underlines that it has not changed its view that the use of F-35s in proximity to the S-400s would endanger the flight safety of the fifth-generation fighter jets.
‘All allies should lift arms embargo’
The sources also responded to the questions on Türkiye’s intentions to supply Eurofighter jets, a product of a consortium established by the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Italy.
“Our request is there. We are waiting for a positive response from Germany as a member of the consortium,” the sources stressed. Other members of the consortium seem to be willing to deliver the Eurofighter Typhoon jets, but Germany has a pending restriction to arms sales to Türkiye since 2019.
The sources said Türkiye’s works for the supply of these warfighters will continue.