The Biden administration on Monday notified Congress of the planned sale to Turkey of F-16 avionics software upgrades for an estimated $259 million.
In an official statement April 17, the State Department said it “made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Turkey of defense articles and services to support upgrading its current fleet of F-16 aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $259 million.”
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
Ankara has been seeking to modernize its existing F-16 fleet and buy 40 new jets of the same type. The country wanted to buy F-35 stealth combat jets but this deal was jeopardized over its purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems.
Congress has the right to object to the State Department's determination within 15 business days for sales approvals granted to NATO members and allies.
The sales package includes equipment and engineering support to upgrade the Link-16 tactical data link system of Turkish Air Force’s existing F-16 jets to the Block Upgrade-2 level, as well as Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance Systems.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve Türkiye’s interoperability with NATO and ensure safety of flight for Türkiye’s existing F-16 aircraft,” the department said. “The proposed sale will improve Türkiye’s capability to meet current and future threats and assist in defending its homeland and U.S. personnel stationed there.”
The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Fort Worth, TX. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.