Hulusi Akar, who attended the 20th Doha Forum, announced that the talks held with the Qatar-Turkish Joint Force Command on the modernization of the F-16 were positive. In his statement, Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar said, “The purchase and modernization process of the F-16s was routinely done by filling in the necessary forms with the American Attaché in Ankara of the relevant department, and this export was made within the scope of the sales we call this FMS, within the concept of foreign military sales. After that, we had conversations with our American interlocutor. We had conversations with Austin, the US Secretary of Defense. Subsequently, they sent delegations to Turkey twice, these delegations met and talked with our delegations. The meetings between the delegations were very positive and constructive.” made statements.
Akar added the following to his statement: “And our interlocutors there, the Americans, said that our work and demands here are reasonable, logical and they support it. However, the process has a congress dimension after they do their own work, they stated that they will transfer it to the congress, we are following these studies. We are awaiting and following the internal work of this work, the internal work of the Secretary of Defense of the United States, and the text that will be sent to the congress depending on the work in question.”
Earlier, İsmail Demir had stated that Turkey has the ability to bring all F-16 warplanes to Block70 level if the modernization project requested from the USA is not allowed. This includes zero aircraft, modernization kits, spare parts, maintenance equipment, potential weapon systems, etc. Considering things, it is estimated to reach several billion dollars.
Turkey had stated that the purchase of new aircraft and the modernization of the existing F-16s could be considered as an alternative for the expansion of the existing F-16 fleet in return for the money it paid. Turkey, which made an official request for the modernization of our F-16 warplanes, made it clear that if the US's attitude was negative, it would necessarily and naturally have to consider other options in order to ensure its security in the environment of threat it is in.