Turkish analyst and retired Vice Admiral Erdoğan Karakuş revealed that Ankara’s plan was initially to acquire 100 to 110 F-35’s from the USA=.
In speaking to CNN Türk when referring to the plans of the Turkish Air Force, Karakuş said that Turkey was looking to replace the old F-16 and F-4 with the F-35.
This plan, however, was wrecked after the expulsion of Ankara from the production program due to the acquisition of the Russian S-400 .
Does Turkey need F-16s? Will there be a comeback in the F-35 crisis? Erdoğan Karakuş replied.
“Turkey, with the F-35s, had a plan to remove from its fleet about 40 older F-16s, as well as about 50 F-4s that had been in service for almost 50 years, while it had already retired the F5s,” the analyst said.
“But since Turkey did not get the F-35s, the replacement process was not possible. Our plan in this case was to have 100 to 110 F-35s.
“Since it was not possible to buy them, just as it was not possible to modernize the aircraft, the need finally arose for additional support in F-16s in place of the F-35s.”
Recently, Karakuş argued that any “hot incident” with Greece would develop into a “total war” between the two countries, pointing out the importance of the “air superiority” that Turkey should have, in order not to suffer serious losses on the ground.