A Turkish military delegation on Monday headed to the United States for talks on the sale of F-16 jets to Turkey, state-run Anadolu news agency reported, citing the Defence Ministry.
The delegation is due to hold talks on procurement of fighter jet and modernization kits on the invitation of Washington, the ministry said.
In October 2021, NATO member Turkey applied to purchase 40 Blok 70 Viper F-16s and as many as 80 modernisation kits for its existing F-16 fleet after purchasing Russian S-400 air defence missiles. The acquisition of the Russian weapons in 2019 prompted the United States to bar it from a programme to develop and purchase the F-35 stealth fighter jet.
In June, Washington signalled willingness to sell upgraded fighter jets after Turkey dropped its opposition to efforts by Finland and Sweden to join the NATO alliance. But U.S. Congress has since adopted a bill obliging the White House to prove that the procurement will be in the interest of Washington and the warplanes would not be used in violating Greek airspace. Any potential deal between the NATO allies on fighter jets would require congressional approval.
Ankara has rejected the conditions stipulated by U.S. lawmakers, calling on Senate for their removal.
The latest meetings between Turkish and U.S. officials will mark the 4th technical talks between Ankara and Washington on the sale of the F-16s.