Türkiye expects F-16 draft offer by month’s end

Türkiye expects to receive the draft offer and acceptance letters for the procurement of F-16 fighter jets from the United States by the end of this month, according to defense sources.

The finalized deal, valued at $23 billion, will see Türkiye acquiring 40 new F-16s alongside upgrades to 79 of its existing fleet, following the recent approval from the U.S. Congress. The 15-day objection period concluded on Feb. 10, clearing the path for the sale after the sole objection raised by Senator Rand Paul was addressed within the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee.

The absence of objections from the relevant committee in the House of Representatives further streamlined the process.

"Our negotiations continue to carry out the modernization activities and the production processes of the aircraft to be supplied in our country," the sources were quoted as saying by daily Hürriyet.

The Joe Biden administration's notification came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed off on Sweden's accession to NATO - a development that caps off more than a year of negotiations.

The formal endorsement of Sweden's membership by the Turkish parliament and Erdoğan's subsequent decree were published in Türkiye's official gazette on Jan. 25, marking the conclusion of the ratification process within the country.

Erdoğan has long tied the ratification to Türkiye's aspiration to procure F-16 fighter jets from the United States. The president also called on Canada and other NATO allies to lift arms embargoes imposed on Türkiye.

Sweden, along with Finland, abandoned its traditional position of military nonalignment to seek protection under NATO following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Finland joined the alliance in April,...

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