The Biden administration is planning to seek congressional approval for a $20 billion sale of new F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, according to US officials cited by the Wall Street Journal, which also said that a separate sale of next-generation F-35 jets to Greece will also take place, in what would be among the largest foreign military sales in recent years.
The sale to Turkey, which the US has been considering for a year, is larger than expected. It includes 40 new aircraft to modernize the existing fleet of 79 F-16s, according to officials familiar with the proposals.
The congressional briefing is expected to coincide with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s visit to the US next week. The sale also includes 900 air-to-air missiles and 800 bombs.
The US officials said, according to the paper, that Congress’ approval is contingent on Turkey’s sign-off on Finland and Sweden’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Turkey has blocked both countries’ bids, citing concerns about their ties to Kurdish separatist groups.
Both countries abandoned decades of neutrality by joining NATO in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.