Central Asia

Turkey Threatens To Buy Russian Fighter Jets If U.S. Won’t Sell F-16s

Turkish Air Force F-16C Block 50
Image by SAC Helen Farrer RAF Mobile News Team

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The head of Turkey’s defense industry Ismail Demir said on Monday that Ankara may buy Russian-made Su-35s and Su-57s if the U.S. does not approve the sale of new F-16s to modernized Turkey’s Air Force.

“If the United States does not approve a deal on the F-16s after the situation with F-35 aircraft, Turkey won’t be left without alternatives. The issue of Su-35 and Su-57 planes may surface again at any time,” the Turkish NTV television channel quoted Demir as saying, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on October 17 that the United States might sell F-16 fighters to Turkey after its decision to exclude Ankara from the program of developing the F-35 fifth-generation fighter, following Ankara’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense missile systems.

The news agency Reuters reported on October 17 that Turkey had made a request to the United States to purchase 40 F-16 fighter jets and modernize about 80 warplanes of this type operational in the Turkish Air Force.

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