Erdogan in talks with US to buy F-16 fighter jets after row over F-35 deal

WION Web Team
Turkey Published: Oct 17, 2021, 05:51 PM(IST)

Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan Photograph:( AFP )

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Turkey had ordered over 100 F-35 fighter jets, however, the US government under former President Trump had stopped the order after Erdogan's regime acquired Russian S-400 missile defence systems.

Turkey's President Erdogan said talks were underway with the US to buy F-16 fighter jets after the US government had disallowed the sale of F-35 fighter jets over Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 missile defence systems.

"There is the payment of $1.4 billion we have made for the F-35s and the US had such a proposal in return for these payments," Turkey's president said.

Also Read | Don't expect Turkey to take different step on F-35 & S-400: Erdogan to Biden

Turkey had ordered over 100 F-35 fighter jets, however, the US government under former President Trump had stopped the order after Erdogan's regime acquired Russian S-400 missile defence systems.

The former Trump administration had also imposed sanctions against Turkey blacklisting its defence industry directorate chief Ismail Demir and three employees. Turkey has repeatedly asked for the return on investment made on the F-35 fighters earlier.

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"We have said we'll take whatever step is needed to meet our country's defence needs," Erdogan said even as he insisted that he would be interested in buying the second batch of S-400 missile defence systems.

Relations between the US and Turkey have been on the downhill over the proposed sale of US stealth fighters even as Erdogan has been seeking compensation.

Also Read: Switzerland to order US F-35A fighter jets, Patriot air defence systems

The Biden administration would need approval from the US Congress if it decides to sell F-16 jets to Turkey.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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