12 Oct 2021
Erdogan to Seek Biden’s Approval for $6 billion Arms Deal
The Index Today
Turkish President Erdogan has formally sent a request to the U.S for the purchase of new F-16 Block 70 aircrafts and approximately 80 kits to enhance their current fleet of F-16 fighters. The deal, worth $6 billion may be a difficult feat in terms of gaining approval from the U.S.
The upcoming global summit, President Erdogan aims to seek approval through lobbying and seek approval for the new arms deal despite the Congress’s resistance and opposition to the previous purchase of Russian air defenses.
According to Turkish officials, both presidents are expected to meet at the G20 summit in Rome, however no clarity has been provided regarding the meeting or if President Biden will agree to the weapons request.
The current rift between both countries with regards to Russian arms has not been resolved. This could lead to further tension where worries of the S-400 being used for data collection and intelligence have surfaced. The U.S has previously asked Turkey to cancel the S-400 weapons deal in return for lifting of sanctions. Under these sanctions, Turkey cannot receive any support from U.S financial institutions for its defense procurement agency. All export of technology and US goods have also been banned.
Arda Mevlutogla, a Turkish aviation expert said on the matter, “If Turkey can win U.S approval for the sale of the new F-16 Block 70 aircraft and upgrade kits that would come as a huge relief to the air force. Those planes would probably fulfill the capability until the 2030s, giving Turkey two critical decades to try and develop its own fighters.”