ANKARA ($1=17.40 Turkish Liras) — The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that limits Turkey’s F-16 Block 70 program. The bill in question includes a ban on the sale of the F-16 Block 70 unless Turkey guarantees that Greek airspace will not be violated.
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The other day, House of Representatives member Frank Pallone introduced a bill containing the delivery of the F-16 Block 70 to Turkey. In summary, the bill presented by Frank Pallone says that if Turkey uses the F-16 Blok 70 fighter jets that it will buy from the US and guarantees that it will not violate Greek airspace with these planes, the sale of the planes to Turkey can be “open”.
Pallone’s bill passed 244 to 179. The bill will now be added to the 2023 US National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA]. President Biden has the power to veto this bill, but only 5 bills have been vetoed so far in the history of the NDAA.
Defense industry analyst Arda Mevlutoglu summarized the process this way: “As you know, the NDAA has drafts prepared by the House of Representatives and the Senate. They are combined into a joint commission, become a single project, and are presented to the president for approval. The president has the right of veto”.
What will Joe Biden do?
In recent weeks, US President Biden had a face-to-face meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as part of the NATO summit. After the meeting, Biden said: “As soon as I land in Washington, I will work to resolve the F-16 issue. I will make an effort to get it passed in Congress,” he said. After Biden’s statement, some members of Congress began to make anti-Turkish statements, and 35 members of Congress sent a letter to President Biden against the delivery of F-16Bs to Turkey.
Search for Turkish F-16 Block 70
There is demand for the F-16 Block 70 in Turkey both to recoup the US$1.4 billion spent on the F-35 and to bolster the Turkish Air Force’s existing fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters.
Turkey’s demand for F-16 Block 70 includes the delivery of 40 new combat aircraft and 80 upgrade kits for existing F-16s.
The demand is understood to include the supply of munitions and spare parts for the new aircraft and the existing F-16 fleet. The F-16 Block 70 package is estimated to cost Turkey $6 billion.
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