President Joe Biden’s government approved on Friday the sale of 40 F-16V fighters to Turkey and another 40 F-35 fighters to Greece, both produced by Lockheed Martin.
The Turkish package, worth around US$23 billion, also includes 79 Block 70/72 modernization kits for the Turkish Air Force’s F-16 fighters.
Greece, in turn, obtained approval to receive the 5th generation fighters that were chosen by numerous European countries, most of them members of NATO. The value of the Greek agreement reaches US$8.6 billion.
Both agreements will still need to be approved by the US Congress, but this should not be a difficulty.
The approval of the sale of 40 F-16V fighters to Turkey comes one day after Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government ratified Sweden’s membership in NATO.
The purchase order for the fighters was announced in October 2021 after an agreement to receive F-35 fighters ended up being canceled due to Ankara’s acquisition of Russian missiles.
The Turkish Air Force has around 240 F-16 fighters in addition to 48 older F-4E fighters. Greece operates 154 F-16s, 32 F-4s, 29 Mirage 2000s and recently received 18 of 24 Rafale fighters, also from Dassault.