Türkiye's military might set for significant boost
    US greenlights F-16 sale

    ANALYTICS  01 March 2024 - 15:45

    Fuad Shahbazov

    On February 29, the US Senate overwhelmingly voted 13-79 against a resolution that would have blocked a $23 billion F-16 sale to Türkiye that the Biden administration approved in January 2024.

    Türkiye has sought to lock down the sale, including 40 new F-16s made by Lockheed Martin and modernization kits for 79 fighter jets in its current fleet for several years. After stalling for more than a year, the State Department finally approved the sale when Türkiye ratified Sweden’s NATO membership. Ankara had made its ratification of Sweden’s membership contingent on the approval of the sale of the new jets.

    Although the Biden administration initially agreed to F16 sales to Türkiye, the US lawmakers had expressed objections due to strained relations between Washington and Ankara. However, Ankara and Washington opted for diplomatic normalization shortly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine unfolded in 2022, causing global security threats. Notably, the full-scale invasion forced traditionally non-bloc countries like Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership, which required Türkiye's confirmation. Indeed, Ankara pragmatically approached the issue by demanding F-16s and modernization kits in exchange for membership bids.

    However, the approval process for Sweden's membership appeared tumultuous as Ankara and Stockholm found it hard to reach a consensus on certain issues. As a result, the US lawmakers were upholding an unofficial bargain that Türkiye would get the fighter jets if it stopped blocking Sweden's accession to NATO.

    The sale had been held up for months over issues, including Türkiye's refusal to approve Sweden's accession to the military alliance. Türkiye first asked to purchase in October 2021. Earlier, the US expelled Türkiye from the F-35 co-production program in 2019 over Ankara’s purchase of the S-400 missile defense system due to fears Moscow could use its advanced radar system to spy on the stealth fighter jets.

    Although the membership issue has been solved and Sweden ascended into the alliance, some Republican lawmakers such as Rand Paul attempted to block the sale, calling it "an extortion by Ankara", though the Senate rejected Paul's motion.

    Consequently, Sweden's NATO membership is not the only source of concern for the US Senate as many conservatives and liberals in the country blame Türkiye for its “unprovoked attacks” of Kurdish militia in northern Syria, which consists of mainly PYD members, an affiliation of the notorious Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) terrorist organization. Moreover, Ankara’s strong support to Azerbaijan and its deal with Russia to buy its S400 missile defense system and other matters.

    Nevertheless, seemingly, Ankara's greenlight to Finland and Sweden to join NATO at a critical time was too important to the overall strategic interests of the Western military alliance.

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine presented a strategic imperative for Sweden’s NATO accession. As for Türkiye, the sale would upgrade the country’s aging F-16 fleet to a more capable model, a model that is compatible with the United States.

    In this vein, the fears of some US lawmakers stem from the fact that modernized additional F-16 fighter jets will significantly boost Ankara’s military capabilities against radical terrorist organizations in its close vicinity. Moreover, it will somehow enable Türkiye to maintain the balance of power in the Aegean Sea as its neighboring country, Greece, received the US approval for F-35s at the same time. Washington likely did so to avoid the appearance of favoritism between the two NATO members and to avoid altering the balance of airpower over the Aegean Sea in Greece’s favor.

    Hence, the sale of F-35 aircraft to Greece will provide a significant increase in capability as well as interoperability with NATO forces. However, the current positive dynamics of Ankara-Athens relations suggest that the sale of F-35s to Greece will unlikely trigger discontent in Türkiye. This is also another reason the Biden administration quickly confirmed both countries' bids regarding new fighter jets.

    Caliber.Az

    Subscribe to our Telegram channel


Read also

Iran seeks international backing following missile strikes on Israel Raisi calls Russia & Qatari leaders amid tension

17 April 2024 - 16:56

Is Ukraine on the edge? Big vulnerabilities

17 April 2024 - 16:13

Hereditary Azerbaijanophobe in Armenia and his provocations

17 April 2024 - 15:04

French ambassador recalled from Azerbaijan amidst bilateral strain Macron admits defeat

17 April 2024 - 15:19

20 points. What did Armenia, the EU and the US agree on in Brussels? Sensational details on Caliber.Az

17 April 2024 - 11:01

Azerbaijan slams Freedom House's pro-Armenian report Challenges western-centric evaluations

16 April 2024 - 18:00
ADVERTS
Video
Latest news

    More efficient than hydrogen and produces more energy

    chemical element we had ignored

    18 April 2024 - 07:03

    At Chinese trade fair, exporters despair their goods - "as cheap as cabbage"

    18 April 2024 - 05:04

    Europe restarts magnesium mining to counter reliance on China

    18 April 2024 - 03:05

    Lithuania, Rheinmetall sign agreement for 155mm ammunition plant

    18 April 2024 - 01:03

    Want to move to Europe?

    17 April 2024 - 23:00

    IDF strikes Hezbollah military facilities in Lebanon

    17 April 2024 - 21:18

    Georgian PM accuses country’s President of being an “agent of foreign influence”

    In rebuke on transparency bill

    17 April 2024 - 21:15

    Azerbaijan to showcase climate change adaptation at COP29

    FAO official says

    17 April 2024 - 21:10

    Swiss parliament wants ban on extremist symbols

    17 April 2024 - 20:58

    Protest rally against foreign agents bill resumes in Tbilisi

    17 April 2024 - 20:50

    UK urges European countries to increase defence spending

    17 April 2024 - 20:45

    AZAL, DFS aviation services forge key partnership to equip Lachin airport

    17 April 2024 - 20:33

    Turkish FM, Hamas leader discuss Gaza aid, cease-fire

    17 April 2024 - 20:20

    Russian peacekeepers' mission in Karabakh accomplished

    Member of State Duma says

    17 April 2024 - 20:08

    Tackling 10 prejudices about hydrogen following Clean Transition Dialogues

    17 April 2024 - 20:00

    Azerbaijani Ombudswoman raises mine issue in liberated territories at meeting with UNDP rep

    17 April 2024 - 19:53

    Azerbaijan, Tatarstan forge stronger ties across trade, innovation, humanitarian endeavors

    17 April 2024 - 19:40

    Azerbaijani FM, CICMA executive director engage on chairmanship priorities & collaboration

    17 April 2024 - 19:32

    Azerbaijan plans Europe-bound exports of green hydrogen made in "recently liberated territories"

    Article by Hydrogen Insight

    17 April 2024 - 19:28

    UK PM Sunak plans to create "smoke-free generation" with tough measures on tobacco

    17 April 2024 - 19:13

    Azerbaijan and Albania announce visa-free regime

    Legislative progress underway

    17 April 2024 - 18:59

    Azerbaijan, Tatarstan discuss developmental directions of economic partnership

    17 April 2024 - 18:46

    OSCE Chair-in-Office due in Azerbaijan

    17 April 2024 - 18:30

    Armenia's economy lacks development

    Expert highlights concerns

    17 April 2024 - 18:15

    Azerbaijan's Air Force, Air Defence Forces conduct tactical exercises in Nakhchivan

    Video, Photo footage from drills

    17 April 2024 - 18:01

    UN continues support for Azerbaijan's demining efforts in Karabakh region

    17 April 2024 - 17:48

    Azerbaijani president designates Shusha as 2024 Youth Capital of OIC

    Action plan underway

    17 April 2024 - 17:35

    Czech Republic collects 500,000 shells for Ukraine

    17 April 2024 - 17:23

    President: Iran’s operation shatters Israeli military’s invincibility myth

    17 April 2024 - 17:10

    Iran seeks international backing following missile strikes on Israel

    Raisi calls Russia & Qatari leaders amid tension

    17 April 2024 - 16:56

    Georgian parliament approves draft law on foreign agents

    17 April 2024 - 16:41

    Azerbaijan, Israel discuss energy cooperation

    17 April 2024 - 16:27

    Is Ukraine on the edge?

    Big vulnerabilities

    17 April 2024 - 16:13

    Azerbaijan, Pakistan discuss defence cooperation

    17 April 2024 - 15:59

    United States enhances support for Armenia

    17 April 2024 - 15:45

    EU interested in Azerbaijan's development of Middle Corridor

    PHOTO

    17 April 2024 - 15:31

    President Aliyev, Kairat Sarybay discuss COP29, green transport concept

    17 April 2024 - 15:27

    President’s aide confirms Russian peacekeepers’ withdrawal from Azerbaijan

    The process has already started!

    17 April 2024 - 15:19

    French ambassador recalled from Azerbaijan amidst bilateral strain

    Macron admits defeat

    17 April 2024 - 15:19

    Hereditary Azerbaijanophobe in Armenia and his provocations

    17 April 2024 - 15:04

All news