After Turkey’s president Erdogan pointed on Sunday that the US has allegedly offered Turkey to buy F-16 fighter jets in return for its investment in the F-35 programme it was kicked off from, the chief of the Turkish Presidency of Defence Industries, Ismail Demir, stressed on Monday that Ankara can purchase Russia’s Su-35 and Su-57 fighters if the US Congress freezes the sale of F-16s
Demir noted on air of Kanal 7 that Turkey will do everything to ensure its security and that will not be left without alternatives if the process of F-16 purchase and upgrade does not bring results since the topic of buying Su-35s and Su-57s can be opened at any time.
The Turkish presidential office informed last week that Ankara would consider increasing the number of F-16s to its air fleet in place of the more advanced F-35s after it was removed from the joint strike fighter programme as a punishment for the Turkish government’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defence systems.
The purchase deal Ankara singed with Russia resulted in Turkey’s removal from the F-35 project over claims that it could leak military secrets to Moscow.
Only the three nations – the US, China and Russia- have their own fifth-gen stealth jets at present: the US has the single-engine F-35 Lightning II and twin-engine F-22 Raptor, China owns J-20s while Russia has the Su-57.
The spokeswoman of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Valeria Reshetnikova, said earlier that Moscow fully informed the Turkish side about the technical specifications of its fifth-generation jet Su-57 and 4++ generation Su-35 fighters and noted it is ready to negotiate the deliveries.
Turkish Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank confirmed that Ankara might consider the possibility of buying Su-35s and Su-57s, but stressed that Ankara’s priority is to develop its own fifth-generation fighters.
Dmitry Shugayev, Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, pointed that Russia is ready to share its expertise with its Turkish partners and that Russia could provide technical assistance in developing Turkish national aircraft.