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Turkey-Russia ties hinder F-16 aircraft sales

Congress opposes; some fear it could push Ankara towards Moscow

After the suspended sale of the F-35 fighter planes built by the American Lockheed Martin and destined for Turkey, now the evaluation of the purchase of F-16 Fighting Falcon military fighters from the American General Dynamics is causing further embarrassment between the governments of the two countries. These aircraft would replace McDonnell Douglas' aging F-16 and F-4 Phantom II planes that make up Ankara's current military fleet.

The Biden administration is reportedly considering a Turkish proposal to buy the F-16 fighter jets, but the sale is being thwarted by opposition from members of Congress who are increasingly critical of Ankara's growing ties with Moscow. The case is reminiscent of what happened with the sale of the F-35 aircraft: a deal blocked after the Middle Eastern country bought S-400 missile systems produced by Russia.

Some American officials heard by the American newspaper "Wall Street Journal" claim that the agreement could be a lifeline for the relationship between the United States and Turkey. Also because blocking their sale could push Ankara closer to Russia, at a time when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) should face the tension between Russia and Ukraine in the most cohesive way possible.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency