Ankara, Turkey: In a strategic move to bolster its ageing air force, Turkey formally announced on Thursday its intent to acquire 40 Eurofighter Typhoon jets as a temporary measure while awaiting the deployment of its domestically produced fifth-generation Kaan fighter jet in 2030.
The decision comes after prolonged inspections and negotiations, reflecting Turkey’s concerns over the slow progress of a $20 billion F-16 deal with the United States.
Sources within the Turkish government revealed that the Eurofighter is being considered an insurance policy in case the F-16 sale and modernization package faces delays or potential obstruction from the Biden administration.
With its current fleet of fighter jets rapidly ageing, Turkey seeks to ensure the continuous operational capability of its air force.
The Biden administration’s apparent lack of urgency in advancing the F-16 deal has prompted Turkey’s defence ministry to explore alternative options.
While tying the F-16 deal to the Turkish parliament’s ratification of Sweden’s NATO bid, the uncertainty surrounding the agreement has led Ankara to pursue a backup plan with the Eurofighter Typhoon.
The request for 40 units of Eurofighters aligns with the terms of the current F-16 deal, which includes 40 advanced F-16Vs and upgrade packages for Turkey’s existing fleet of 79 jets.
However, Defense Minister Yasar Guler surprised parliament by expressing Turkey’s interest in acquiring both F-16s and Eurofighters simultaneously.
This unexpected commitment adds a layer of complexity to Turkey’s defence strategy, raising questions about the financial implications and long-term planning.
Comparisons to other international defence deals highlight the significance of Turkey’s move. Saudi Arabia, for instance, signed a $12.5 billion deal with the UK in 2017 to purchase 48 Eurofighter jets.
Turkey’s decision to explore the acquisition of both F-16s and Eurofighters simultaneously underscores the country’s determination to ensure the modernization and effectiveness of its air force in the face of geopolitical challenges.
As Turkey navigates the intricate web of international defence negotiations, the pursuit of Eurofighter Typhoon jets emerges as a strategic step to secure air superiority while awaiting the completion of its ambitious Kaan fighter jet program.
The evolving dynamics of Turkey’s defence procurement will be closely watched as the nation seeks to balance its immediate needs with long-term strategic goals in an ever-changing geopolitical landscape.
This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members