19 minutes ago
Sat 23rd October 2021 | 01:00 PM
Turkey has launched the procedure to purchase F-16 fighter jets from the United States, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier in October that Washington had offered to sell F-16 aircraft to his country as a return for its investment in the F-35 program, from which Ankara was removed.
“Technical work began on the supply of F-16 (aircraft). We monitor this process. The strengthening of Turkey also means strengthening the defense of NATO,” Akar said, as quoted by the Ministry of National Defence.
Turkey caused a rift with its NATO ally after it bought Russia‘s S-400 air defense systems. The United States canceled the sale of F-35 jets to Turkey in 2019 over claims that it could leak military secrets to Russia.
In April, Washington reportedly sent an official notification to Turkey about its exclusion from the production program of the latest F-35 fighter jets. Turkey, however, continues to make parts for F-35s.