Approval of Turkish F-16 upgrades brings hope to quest for new jets
The US State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to upgrade Turkey’s current fleet of F-16 aircraft for around $259 million.
If accepted by Congress, the Turkish jets will receive both classified and unclassified software and hardware upgrades, training and training equipment enhancements and other improvements to make keep them up to date.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said the proposed sale ‘will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the US by helping to improve Türkiye’s interoperability with NATO and ensure safety of flight for Türkiye’s existing F-16 aircraft'.
'The proposed sale will improve Türkiye’s capability to meet current and future threats and assist in defending its homeland and US personnel stationed there.’
A US Department of State spokesperson said: ‘Türkiye is a longstanding and valued NATO Ally. The Biden Administration supports Türkiye’s efforts to bring the avionics of its F-16 fleet up to standard.’
It is unclear how many fighters will receive upgrades, but Ankara had requested nearly 80 modernisation kits alongside 40 F-16 Block 70/72 in October 2021.
The approval of one part of the request will be welcomed in Turkey after a long stalemate, giving hope to a potential approval of the new jets that the Balkan-Asian country needs to keep its air force up to date.
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