Turkey plans to buy 40 Eurofighter Typhoons as an interim option to the unobtainable F-35s, Defense Minister Yasar Guler said in Parliament last week.
Two of the three Typhoon partner nations — the UK and Spain — are willing to sell the aircraft to Ankara, the minister said, adding that they are persuading Germany to shed its reluctance.
“We want to buy Eurofighter. It is a very effective aircraft,” Anadolu Agency quoted Guler as saying.
“Both the UK and Spain say ‘yes’, and now they are working to persuade Germany. The UK and Spain say: ‘We will solve that problem.’ If solved, we plan to purchase 40 Eurofighter jets.”
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is visiting Germany for a day this week, where the matter could be discussed, according to Daily Sabah.
A consortium of three European arms manufacturers — Airbus, BAE Systems, and Leonardo — developed the Typhoon for the air forces of the UK, Spain, Germany, and Italy.
Since its induction in 2003, the air superiority fighter has been acquired by additional countries such as Austria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman.
Removal From F-35 program
The US removed Ankara from the F-35 program in 2019 following its purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system.
Washington contended that the purchase could compromise the F-35’s sensitive stealth technology.
F-16 Fleet Upgrade
Since then, Turkey has been looking to upgrade its aging fleet of F-16 fighters through additional purchases and an indigenous modernization program.
Ankara requested the purchase of 40 F-16s and modernization kits in 2021.