US blocked major arms deals with Turkey, including the F-16 modernization

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WASHINGTON, (BM) – For almost two years, members of the US Congress have blocked arms sales deals to Turkey due to Ankara’s purchase of the S-400 air defense system, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Vzglyad.

Read more: US Senate calls on Pentagon not to buy parts for F-35 from Turkey

The exact number of blocked contracts is not disclosed, but it is indicated that at least two of them were large. One of such contracts concerned the modernization of F-16 fighters, TASS reports with reference to Defense News.

The defense industry is alarmed that such actions could spoil the relationship between contractors and Turkey will start looking for new partners.

Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Jim Risch and House Foreign Affairs Committee Senior Republican Michael McCall have admitted to being linked to the Turkish contract freeze.

Sources report involvement in the blocking of the head of the relevant lower house committee, Eliot Engel, and the senior democrat of the upper house committee, Robert Menendez.

The United States resorted to similar measures in 1975 after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Then the United States suspended the sale of arms to Turkey for three years.

As reported by the VZGLYAD newspaper, the US bill to impose sanctions against Turkey for the purchase of Russian S-400 complexes has become a new reason for the deterioration of relations between Washington and Ankara.

Read more: Turkey promises allies to protect secrets of S-400 defense system and F-35 fighter

Russian-Turkish talks on S-400s second batch delivery are in an advanced stage

As we reported on June 2 the negotiations between Russia and Turkey on the delivery of the second set of S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft systems are in an advanced stage.

“Negotiations are underway, this is a laborious process that requires a certain amount of time. But given the current restrictions in connection with the pandemic, it is not very grateful to predict the terms of concluding this contract,” the head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Dmitry Shugaev said then.

Shugaev noted that at the moment the parties are awaiting the final decision of Turkey.

Turkey continues to produce parts for the F-35 fighter jet, the Pentagon confirmed

The US will not refuse to purchase F-35 combat aircraft parts manufactured in Turkey until 2022, US Department of Defense spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews said on June 30.

According to Andrews, the decision to not break the agreements concluded with Turkey was made by the Pentagon at the end of 2019. The lieutenant colonel explained that an immediate termination of contracts would be costly and destructive for the American army.

A Pentagon spokesman said the US has identified alternative sources of supply for the F-35 parts that are currently being manufactured in Turkey. As Turkish contracts expire, the U.S. Army will enter into new contracts with other manufacturers.

Read more: Turkey expects sanctions from US over the Russian S-400 missile systems purchase

According to Pentagon officials, Turkish companies produce 817 out of 24,000 F-35 body parts, and 188 out of 3,000 engine parts.

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