U.S. to approve Turkey's request for purchase of F-16 fighters?

U.S. to approve Turkey's request for purchase of F-16 fighters?

The United States may approve Turkey's request to buy F-16 fighter jets to strengthen NATO allies in the Black Sea, the CNN-Turk broadcaster reported on Thursday, citing U.S. sources.

The parties held meetings both in Ankara and Washington, the broadcaster said, adding that Turkey's request for the purchase of 40 Block 70 F-16 fighters and 80 Block 70 upgrade kits may be granted.

The reason for the approval is to equip its NATO allies against the growing threat in the Black Sea.

Earlier, Turkey made a request to the United States to purchase 40 F-16 fighter jets and modernize about 80 warplanes of this type operational in the Turkish Air Force.

Moscow and Ankara inked a deal in 2017 on the delivery of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems to Turkey, thereby making it the first NATO member to purchase this air defense weapon from Russia.

Ankara’s decision to purchase the Russian-made system infuriated the United States and NATO. So far, Washington has not abandoned its efforts to make Turkey give up the Russian air defense system.

Turkey has not caved to US pressure and said that it would keep the S-400 system. Washington has responded by excluding Ankara from the US program of developing the fifth-generation F-35 fighter-bomber.