WASHINGTON: An important stage regarding the sale of F-16s from the US to Trkiye passed on Saturday, as the review and objection process in Congress was overcome.
In the 15-day review and objection process that began after the official notification sent to Congress by the US State Department on Jan. 26, the only objection presented to the Senate was by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
While Paul’s proposal was referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, no action was taken on the proposal there.
So, after the official notification from the US administration, the 15-day period in Congress ended Saturday night, and there is no obstacle to the start of the process related to the sale among relevant institutions under the US Arms Export Control Act (AECA).
“Congress’s decision this week to approve Trkiye’s acquisition of 40 new and 79 upgraded F-16 aircraft is a great step forward. Trkiye’s F-16 fleet is critical to NATO’s strength, ensuring future interoperability among Allies,’ said U
S Ambassador to Ankara Jeffry L. Flake, about the recent development on F-16 sale to Trkiye.
This period is specified as 15 days for NATO member countries, and 30 days for non-NATO member countries, according to the AECA.
The US State Department approved on Jan. 27 the pending $23 billion sale of F-16 aircraft and modernization kits to Trkiye, sending formal notification to Congress. The approval came after Trkiye ratified Sweden’s NATO membership.
Trkiye made a request to the US in October 2021 to purchase 40 new F-16 Block 70 aircraft, as well as 79 modernization kits to upgrade its remaining aircraft.