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Turkey Receives US Draft Letters Approving F-16 Jets Deal: Official

29 Feb 2024 21:19

Islam Times - The United States has sent Turkey draft letters of offer and acceptance regarding its request to buy Block-70 F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits, Turkey's defense ministry spokesperson said on Thursday.

Turkey made the request in October 2021, two years after it was left out of the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet program over its procurement of a Russian missile defense system.

The US administration agreed to conclude the delayed deal after a series of negotiations following Ankara's approval of Sweden's NATO membership bid.
US President Joe Biden's administration formally informed Congress of its intention to proceed with the $23 billion sale of the Lockheed Martin jets in January.
The sale was considered final earlier this month when Congress did not block the sale within 15 days.
"Our ministry has received the draft letters of offer and acceptance sent by the US for the sale of 40 new Block-70 F-16s and 79 modernization kits and ammunition and equipment for them. (We) have started the necessary examination and evaluation," ministry spokesperson Rear Admiral Zeki Akturk told reporters, Reuters reported.
After Turkey's review of the draft letters, officials from the two countries are expected to meet to finalize the deal.
Turkey is one of the largest operators of the F-16 jets, with its fleet made up of more than 200 older Block 30/40/50 models.
Relations between the two NATO allies have gained significant momentum on which they can capitalize, US Senator Chris Murphy said last week after meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan.

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