Turkey Could Reject F-16s, Prefer Russian, Chinese Jets Instead

  • By Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 12:41 PM, March 7, 2023
  • 509

Turkey could reject U.S.-made F-16s for Chinese and Russian alternatives, a Turkish presidency official hinted on March 6, 2023…

"I believe that after the earthquakes, Turkiye will give up asking for F-16 because it is $20 billion cost package" - Cagri Erhan, member of the Turkish Presidency’s Security and Foreign Policies Council, told Russian media on March 6.

After Turkey bought S-400 air defense systems from Russia in 2018, it was removed from the F-35 Lightning II project. Turkey demanded return of $1.5B advance it paid for F-35s, but settled for new F-16s to bolster its declining fighter fleet.

With U.S.’ politicians demanding Turkey's approval for Sweden and Finland to join NATO as a pre-condition for the sale of F-16s to Ankara, and the recent devastating earthquakes depleting funds, it could look for "other options."

“We have other options like the Chinese jet, which was sold to Pakistan, Russian jets and also Eurofighter jet” - Erhan Turkish President Erdogan was invited to the launch of the international edition of Su-57 in 2019 where he praised the Su-57 and the Su-35. Turkish Presidency of Defense Industries chief Ismail Demir said in October 2021 that “Turkey can acquire Su-35 and Su-57 fighters if the U.S.