US Signs $23 Billion F-16 Deal With Turkey

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jun 14, 2024 - 08:25 PM

Via The Libertarian Institute

The US has inked a $23 billion deal with Turkey for 40 F-16 warplanes. Washington promised to sell dozens of the advanced fighter jets to Ankara and upgrade scores of Turkish F-16s in exchange for Turkey approving Sweden’s NATO membership. 

The AFP reported the deal was signed on Thursday. "The contract was signed and delegations from both sides are negotiating the details," Turkish defense ministry sources told the outlet.

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The State Department said last week that it had taken significant steps towards finalizing the deal, which was proof of the deep military relationship between Washington and Ankara. 

"Just the latest example of US enduring commitment to security partnership with Turkey," it said in a statement on US government social media accounts.

In January, President Biden sent a letter to Congress pushing Capitol Hill to approve the sale of F-16s to Turkey. Washington had conditioned the deal on Ankara lifting its months-long obstruction of Stockholm joining NATO

Since joining the bloc in March, Sweden has taken an aggressive approach towards Russia. Stockholm has approved Kiev using its weapons against targets inside Russia, and top Swedish officials have suggested Stockholm could join NATO’s nuclear weapons sharing program. 

Turkey was initially a partner in the F-35 project and was set to receive the latest American warplane. However, during the Trump administration, Ankara purchased an advanced missile defense system from Moscow, leading Washington to cut Turkey from the program. 

When the sale was first approved to advance forward earlier this year, US ambassador to Turkey Jeff Flake described the sale as a "great step forward." He said, "Turkiye’s F-16 fleet is critical to NATO’s strength, ensuring future interoperability among Allies."