October 7, 2021
By Humeyra Pamuk and Mike Stone
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Turkey has made a request to buy 40 Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighter jets as well as 80 modernization kits for its existing warplanes, as the NATO ally looks to modernize its Air Force after the purchase of F-35 jets fell through, sources familiar with the matter said.
The deal, worth billions, is still working its way through the Foreign Military Sales process which is subject to approval by the U.S. State Department as well as the U.S. Congress which can block deals.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the deal. The State Department and Turkish embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ankara had ordered more than 100 F-35 jets, also made by Lockheed Martin Corp, but was removed from the program in 2019 after it acquired Russian S-400 missile defense systems which Washington says threaten the stealthy jets.
Turkey and the United States have been at odds over a host of issues in recent years, from the S-400s acquisition and its implications to differences in Syria policy. Ankara has said it hopes for better ties under U.S. President Joe Biden.
Reports of the Turkish request were first reported by Greek media.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Mike Stone in Washington, D.C.; editing by Richard Pullin)
Source Link Turkey seeks 40 F-16 jets to upgrade Air Force -sources