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US advances defense collaboration with Turkey


Washington, 7 June 2024(TDI): The US announced to advance the defense collaboration with Turkey, by taking a major step forward in Turkey’s Purchase of new F-16 Block 70 fighter jets, aiming to ensure the commitment of Turkey’s security, a statement revealed by the State Department.

Following the successful completion of the US congressional process approving the sale of F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits to Turkey, the Turkish  Defense Minister expressed excitement about collaborating again with its US counterparts on the Block 70 jets.

On Jan. 26, the US State Department approved the $23 billion sale of F-16 aircraft and modernization kits to Turkey after getting the green light for Sweden’s NATO membership from Turkey. In October 2021, Turkey requested US 40 new F-16 Block 70 aircraft, and 79 modernization kits to upgrade its remaining F-16s to Block 70 level.

Furthermore, to enhance defense cooperation with Turkey, the US sent a draft offer and letter regarding the procurement of new jets in February, as per reports.

Though Turkey currently has Block 30, 40, 50, and 50+ series aircraft, the Block 70s are the most advanced fourth-generation fighter aircraft ever produced, according to US officials.

According to Murat Aslan, a political scientist at Ankara-based SETA foundation, it is “too early to say that everything has been resolved in terms of disputes between two countries”, but the F-16 sale is the “first step” after decades.

Also read: Türkiye-Pakistan aims to boost bilateral cooperation

Drawing attention to global developments, including the Russian-Ukraine war and emerging risks in the Middle East, Aslan noted the importance of Turkey’s role and mediation efforts, which he sees as consistent with US interests

There have been strained relations between Ankara and Washington in recent years due to several issues,  particularly the US disagreements over Turkiye’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense system, which led to Türkiye’s removal from the F-35 program and Washington’s sanctions on Ankara.

Muhammad Zubair
Muhammad Zubair
The author is a seasoned content writer and a vital contributor to The Diplomatic Insight Magazine. His expertise primarily encompasses domestic issues in Pakistan, indigenous politics, and international politics. His writing journey began during his competitive exams, where he not only honed his skills but also developed a profound interest in International Relations (IR).

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