Ankara now seems to have begun seriously considering the possibility of acquiring non-American fighters.
The initial celebrations after the withdrawal of the amendments in the Senate for the American F-16 fighters were followed by reflection in Ankara. Neighbors counted the times even in the most optimistic scenario that Washington’s green light would soon be given.
And they seem to come to the conclusion that even if they manage to break the “blockade” – the Menendez veto seems insurmountable – war-ready Vipers, either upgraded or new, will be very difficult to have in their quiver before 2027. When already our Air Force it will have already received all French Rafale fighters, is completing the upgrade program for 84 F-16 Vipers and is already on track to acquire the first Squadron of 5th generation F-35 Stealth fighters. The quality advantage of the HAF will be more than clear while it is very likely that it has already upgraded all 38 F-16 block 50 fighters.
Especially the presence in the Greek arsenal of the French “bursts” but also the arrival of the “invisible” F-35 fighters give the HAF the possibility to have advanced 4.5 and 5th generation aircraft and even types which will be unknown to the neighbors. While they will have already trained for a long time in both Viper and Rafale, as a result of which they have “unlocked” all their operational capabilities.
Ankara now seems to have begun seriously considering the possibility of acquiring non-American fighters. And by all accounts it seems to have come to the conclusion that the aircraft it can put in its arsenal is the Typhoon Eurofighter. The issue was discussed according to Turkish media during Hulusi Akar’s recent visit to the UK as well as a few months ago when the Turkish Air Force Chief was also in the UK, the main producer country in the Eurofighter consortium along with Germany, Italy and Spain.
After all, it is a common secret that the British and Italians have been trying for years to “resurrect” the Typhoon – whose sales are minimal – with an agreement with Turkey. And in fact, after the acquisition by Greece of the French Rafale fighters, the consortium presents as a strong “card” of the Eurofighter the ability to use the “killer” Meteors like the French “bursts”.