Final US budget gives green light to F-16 sale to Turkey -report

Final US budget gives green light to F-16 sale to Turkey -report
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Annual US defense budget bill removed articles submitted by the House of Representatives that conditioned the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Ankara.

Amendments introduced in the US House of Representatives making sales of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey contingent on a series of conditions were removed in the final defense spending bill, Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu reported.

A conference committee made up of House and Senate members finalized the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bill, which includes the 2023 defense budget.

According to the final draft text of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bill that was seen by Anadolu, the amendments submitted by a group of representatives were dropped from the bill.

The amendments introduced by Democratic Senators Bob Menendez and Chris Van Hollen sought to impose several restrictions on the sale of F-16s and modernization kits to Turkey, most important of which was not to use the fighter jets to violate Greece’s airspace.

In order for the sale of F-16s to be made, Congress should not object to the sales notification submitted by the administration.

After the Senate passes the NDAA, it will be made into a joint text with a previous version passed within the House of Representatives before it is sent to President Joe Biden's desk to be signed into law.

After Turkey’s acquisition of Russian S-400 defense systems in 2019, Washington excluded Turkey from a F-35 stealth fighter jet programme. Instead, Turkey made an official request to buy 40 F-16s and some 80 modernization kits for its existing fleet last year.