Turkish authorities are considering acquiring Eurofighter Typhoon fighters if negotiations to buy US-made F-16s fail, according to comments made to London-based publication Middle East Eye.  

An order for more than 100 F-35 stealth fighter jets from Turkey was scrapped after tensions arose between Washington and Ankara as the latter chose to procure Russian-made S-400 missile systems. Since then, the Turkish Air Force has been in need of an alternative to modernize its fighter fleet. 

In October 2021, Turkey sent a request to the United States to acquire 40 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets as well as 80 kits to upgrade the ones its air force already operates. But talks appear to have stalled over similar concerns. 

Rumors of an order for Russian Su-35 fighters or even the fifth-generation Su-57s circulated but were later denied by the Turkish Ministry of National Defense. Moreover, Turkey’s active support of Ukraine against the Russian invasion, including through the delivery of Bayraktar TB2 combat drones, likely burned that bridge as well. 

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Seemingly cornered, the Turkish government is now open to acquiring Eurofighter Typhoons. 

“The Typhoons are very good, in excellent quality,” a source familiar with the matter told Middle East Eye. “They could be a stop-gap option until we get the fifth generation and locally produced TF-X in our hands, of course, if we cannot get the F-16s.”  

The option was already reported in March 2022 by Defense News, citing a Turkish diplomat who claimed a potential order of around 80 Typhoons was being considered. 

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‌Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the United States government offered to sell F-16 fighter jets as an alternative to the F-35 program.