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“Few Hours After Selling 40 F-16s to Turkey, U.S. Proceeds to Sell F-35s to Greece”

In a few hours following the notification to its congress regarding the proposed sale of F-16 Block 70 fighter jets and modernization kits to Turkey, the United States has informed its congress of the intention to sell F-35 fighter jets to Greece.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — In a few hours following the notification to its congress regarding the proposed sale of F-16 Block 70 fighter jets and modernization kits to Turkey, the United States has informed its congress of the intention to sell F-35 fighter jets to Greece.

Despite recent diplomatic improvements, Turkey and Greece, neighboring countries, remain as “adversaries” and have been involved in armed conflicts on several occasions.

The United States’ decision to sell these fighter jets to both Turkey and Greece is perceived by observers as another geopolitical move by Washington.

After a two-year delay and various conditions, Turkey was finally granted permission by the United States to acquire 40 F-16 Block 70 fighter jets and 79 modernization kits worth US$23 billion (RM103 billion).

This approval came after the country’s parliament ratified a law allowing Sweden to join NATO.

Turkey is one of the largest users of F-16 fighter jets outside the United States, possessing over 250 of these aircraft.

F-16
F-16V Block 70/72 by Lockheed Martin

 

The U.S. administration and its congress conditioned Turkey’s approval for Sweden’s NATO membership as a primary requirement for approving the sale of F-16 Block 70 fighter jets to the Mediterranean nation.

Following the approval for Turkey, Washington then notified its congress of its intention to sell 40 fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets to the “adversary” Greece.

The estimated value of these F-35 fighter jets for Greece is US$8.6 billion (RM38.7 billion).

The introduction of F-35 fighter jets into the Greek Air Force will enhance its capabilities, as the country already owns 24 Rafale fighter jets acquired from France.

The decision by Washington to sell F-35 fighter jets to Greece might be seen as an unfair move by Turkey, especially after being “excluded” from the development program of these fifth-generation fighter jets by the United States due to its purchase of the Russian-made S-400 “Triumf” air defense system.

S-400
S-400

 

However, the United States has not taken any action against Greece, which also possesses the Russian-made S-300 air defense system.

 Ankara was initially expected to purchase around 100 F-35A fighter jets, and its defense industry was involved in the production of components for these aircraft used by the Turkish Air Force.

Six of Turkey’s completed F-35 fighter jets are still in hangars in the United States.

The United States is concerned that Russia may exploit the capabilities and vulnerabilities of its F-35 fighter jets through Turkey’s possession of the S-400 air defense system.

Ankara opted to purchase the S-400 system from Russia after its request for the U.S.-made Patriot air defense system went unanswered, despite Turkey being a NATO member country. – DSA

To contact email: lulwabyadah@gmail.com 

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