Su-35 no longer has a chance when the US lifts restrictions on the sale of F-16 fighters to Turkey.

Turkey is about to have the most advanced version of the US F-16 fighter, this is considered the end of the prospect of Ankara buying the Su-35 from Russia.

The possibility of Turkey buying F-16 Block 70 fighters in 2023 is very high, due to restrictions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that have been lifted by the US government.

The US had previously refused to modernize Turkey’s F-16 fleet, as well as sell a new version of the F-16. 
The main reason for the restrictions so far is that Ankara has violated Greek airspace by using US-made weapons.

In the new version of the NDAA, which includes the defense budget for 2023, the provisions designated by the House of Representatives to limit Turkey’s purchase of F-16s have been removed altogether.

Therefore, the plan to sell F-16 to Turkey was possible. This change affects not only the purchase of new fighter jets but also the modernization of Ankara’s fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcons.

Turkey wants to buy 40 new F-16 Block 70 fighters, as well as upgrade at least 79 older-generation fighters. Despite the lifting of the ban, objections from some members of Congress to arms sales to Ankara are expected in the coming months.

New Jersey Senator Bob Mendes, a Democrat, has repeatedly vowed to do whatever it takes to prevent the sale of F-16s to Turkey. According to the comment, Mr. Mendes is anti-Ankara and close to the Greek lobbyists in the US.

Ankara is unhappy with Washington’s attitude in recent years, especially since previous versions of the NDAA imposed restrictions on Turkey.

This is, even so, serious that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan even “threats” his counterparts from Washington that Turkey is ready to turn to France or Russia.

“The US is not alone in selling fighter jets. The UK, France, and Russia are also offering them. It is possible to get these vehicles elsewhere, and some manufacturers have sent us a signal,” Erdogan said.

Meanwhile, Turkey has begun to modernize part of its fleet of F-16 fighters. A native AESA radar has been developed in the country, which Ankara claims will be integrated into the F-16 in addition to the new attack drones.

Ankara gradually began to replace American air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles with equivalent guided munitions produced in the country, mainly developed by Roketsan.

Turkey’s dependence on Western manufacturers began to diminish. It is not only the United States that is at a disadvantage when it refuses to sell weapons to Turkey in recent years.

The French Safran engine will also be removed from the Turkish cruise missile after other products that meet the requirements have been developed locally.

Turkey is developing engines for both the Altai main battle tank project and the TF-X next-generation fighter project. The country now has domestic missiles comparable to almost any cruise missiles purchased over the years from foreign manufacturers.

The removal of restrictive provisions in the NDAA opens the door for Washington to recover the market lost in recent years. Negotiations to sell F-16s to Turkey have been ongoing since last year.

A turning point was the last meeting on this topic in August this year, when US President Joe Biden, taking responsibility before his Turkish counterpart for Washington’s delivery of fighter jets, is considered the end for the hope of selling Russia’s Su-35S.

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