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Is Erdogan testing Biden with request to buy more F-16s?

Ankara’s surprise request to purchase F-16 jets from the United States looks like a rational decision dictated by military realities, but some suspect it might well be a gambit to set the stage for warplane negotiations with Russia.
Illustration picture shows an F16 fighter jet landing after a press conference of the Belgian defence, to discuss the missions it's involved in, and to look back on the Desert Falcon mission, at the military air base in Kleine-Brogel, Peer on Oct. 1, 2021.

Turkey’s request from the United States for 40 F-16 fighter jets and 80 modernization kits for its existing aircraft caught many by surprise last week, coming amid a lingering crisis between the two NATO allies over Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems and its apparent intention to advance military cooperation with Russia. 

News of the requested purchase, estimated at some $7 billion, broke days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Sochi on Sept 29. Afterward, Erdogan raised the prospect of buying a second batch of S-400s, even as the fate of Turkey’s existing four batteries remains in limbo, as well as further cooperation with Russia in aerospace and submarine and ship projects. 

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