Daily Management Review

US Agrees To Sell Turkey F-16 Equipment Worth $259 Million


US Agrees To Sell Turkey F-16 Equipment Worth $259 Million
The planned sale to Turkey of avionics software updates for its current fleet of F-16 fighter aircraft, a transaction valued at up to $259 million, was announced to Congress by US President Joe Biden's administration on Monday.
After receiving initial clearance from the heads of the U.S. congressional committees, the deal—first reported by Reuters earlier on Monday—moves on with the sale of the upgrading package for Turkey's planes.
A larger accord, Turkey's plan to purchase billions of dollars' worth of F-16 fighter jets as a NATO member, is still in limbo due to persistent congressional resistance.
The deal would be the largest military sale to Turkey that Congress has authorized in years if it is approved through the formal approval process.
"Türkiye is a longstanding and valued NATO ally," a State Department spokesperson said in a statement. "The Biden Administration supports Türkiye’s efforts to bring the avionics of its F-16 fleet up to standard."
The official stated that the upgrade will increase safety measures like a ground collision avoidance system and update communications between Turkish and NATO systems to boost interoperability.
The F-16 upgrading agreement comes after Turkey approved Finland's membership in NATO and there were indications that tensions between Turkey and its neighbor Greece were lessening in front of Turkish elections next month.
The primary contractor on the project will be Lockheed Martin Corp.
The deal is distinct from Turkey's request in October 2021 for the proposed $20 billion sale of new Lockheed Martin F-16 warplanes and almost 80 upgrade kits.
According to a person familiar with the agreement, the administration pushed the parliamentarians to pass the lesser package in order to send a "positive signal" to Ankara.
The permission does not guarantee that Congress will approve the larger transaction because American legislators are requesting Turkey's assurances on matters unrelated to the Nordic NATO expansion.
Among them include putting an end to hostilities with Greece, forgoing an assault of northern Syria, and imposing sanctions against Russia.
Such requirements are sure to enrage Turkey, which has complained that Washington's behavior is unfair and that it has made "endless" demands in relation to the sale of F-16s.