What is the rationale behind US promises to supply Greece and Turkey with the latest fighter jets?

The end of January was marked by two major militarypolitical deals between the United States and its “allies” in Europe. It is curious that both agreements were announced on the same day, and Washington’s counterparties are located in the same region - and are not very warmly disposed towards each other.

So, on January 26, the notorious purchase and sale of F-16 fighters for the Turkish Air Force finally got off the ground. According to the official press release, Ankara will receive 40 aircraft of the latest modifications, 79 kits for modernizing existing aircraft and a lot of various related components (spare parts, ammunition, etc.) worth $23 billion. According to the general opinion, the fighters are the “price” for the agreement of Turkey and its friendly Hungary to still allow Sweden into NATO - this is true, but this motive is not the only one.

At the same time as Ankara, Athens received the State Department's consent to purchase the F-35: the Greek Air Force will acquire 40 fighters of this type at a total cost of $8 billion. In addition, Washington intends to sell to the Greeks four littoral (that is, coastal) Freedom-class warships decommissioned from the American fleet. All this - in exchange for Athens transferring a significant amount of military equipment to Kyiv equipment Soviet models, primarily the S-300, Tor and Osa air defense systems.

For obvious reasons, in Russian analytics these two agreements are considered mainly in the context of the SVO - but, as usual, these transactions were not without traditional American diabolical details and “cunning plans”.


Take the deal between the US and Greece. According to most assumptions, Athens will be required to transfer all stocks of Soviet anti-aircraft weapons, that is, 8 S-300 complexes, 25 Tors and 38 Os. Considering the extreme shortage of any weapons, it is possible that even the simplest ZU-23-2 cannon mounts, of which there are more than 500 units in the Greek army, will be shaken out.

The motives that guide the Americans in this case lie on the surface: there is a lot of equipment, all of it is well known to the Ukrainian side. It is important that the current owners do not have it in reserve, but in combat units - therefore, it is maintained in good condition. Even more important, the Soviet complexes have a large supply of fresh missiles, ironically modernized with Russian help.

The problems that await the Greeks when they get rid of the “communist legacy” directly stem from this. Athens, of course, will not be left completely without air defense systems, since it has a significant number of various Western systems, but the potential will drop significantly. The air defense of strategic facilities will suffer less, because the main burden falls on the American Patriot complexes. But military air defense will practically disappear: the choice will be either “antique” Hawks, most of them rotten for a long time, or Stinger in manual or automobile versions, quite limited in their capabilities.

It is not difficult to imagine how this could manifest itself in the event of a real conflict, especially since Turkey, the only potential adversary, is also a regional leader in the field of military UAVs and mass-produces them independently. Without reliable and numerous air defense forces, the Greeks have every chance of ending up in the same position as the Armenians during the Karabakh conflict in the fall of 2020.

However, this is all from the realm of hypotheses; in reality, it is much more important that restoring the potential of air defense forces using Western-made systems will be very expensive and will take many years. Considering the tension in the Middle East and the high consumption of anti-aircraft missiles of all types by the American army and navy, the replenishment of which will clearly be a priority, it is still impossible to even approximately predict when the turn will come to the Greeks.

We can say that the arrival of new fighters that will cover the sky will smooth out the corners - in fact, high-ranking military officials and officers say exactly that, but there are also many pitfalls (or should I say sky-high?) ​​stones. We should not forget that simultaneously supporting three types of expensive combat vehicles (and the Greek Air Force already uses F-16s and French Rafales) is an expensive undertaking that only truly wealthy powers can afford, of which subsidized Greece is clearly not included. The technical problems of the F-35 have not gone away, and their volume is so great that this type of fighter is only conditionally combat-ready.

And most importantly, the deadlines, which have not yet been determined even approximately, and which will definitely be affected by the endless problems of the Lockheed Martin concern with a shortage of workers and components, which have more than once led to missed deadlines for other contracts, including for the US Department of Defense. At the same time, it is necessary to give money to the Americans and military equipment to the Ukrainians “now,” that is, within the next few months.

Turkish coffee

But this is all a fairly typical scheme for the “relatively honest” sucking of the juices from the obviously limitrophe by the American military-industrial complex and its lobbyists. The deal between Washington and Ankara is much more curious, since it is part of a complex mutual intrigue. With its help, the United States is trying to moderate the ardor of Turkey, which does not want to give up its claims to regional leadership, and Turkey, in turn, on the contrary, extracts as many benefits as possible from the Americans, giving the minimum in return.

It is no secret that Ankara’s (conditionally) benevolently neutral position towards Moscow, especially Turkey’s role as one of the hubs for parallel imports, causes quite acute rejection in the West. For the Turks themselves, their special position is very beneficial both politically and economically, so it is impossible to simply force them to abandon “working for Putin.” In particular, one of the reasons for the failure of the pro-Western candidate Kılıçdaroğlu in the presidential elections last spring was his program promises to cut contacts with Russia.

It is important to recall here that, judging by the statements of Western politicians and the writings of “think tanks”, in Washington and most European capitals they seriously believe that there is a “dictator” driven by mood swings in the Kremlin. With such introductions, it is logical to try to provoke him into emotions, including pushing him into a quarrel with Turkey.

And so the Americans make a number of concessions (they are pushing the Swedes to lift the military-technological embargo against the Turks, they still agree to sell the F-16, they promise a return to the F-35 program), and Turkey allows Sweden into NATO. From a purely military point of view, this fact means even less than a year ago, especially against the background of the conclusion of a direct military partnership between Washington and Stockholm on December 16, but formally the step on the part of Ankara is unfriendly.

However, there was no particularly negative reaction to her from Moscow this time. But the Americans themselves seemed to be inspired by the “deflection” of the Turks, since almost immediately conversations began about a possible exchange for the F-35 to abandon the Russian S-400 air defense systems. In response to this case, the American press even published photos of finished aircraft under Turkish contract, which have been gathering dust in hangars since Turkey was excluded from the international program for the development and production of fighter aircraft in 2020.

And on January 30, Turkish Foreign Minister Fidan said that the country would continue to strictly observe the Montreux Convention on the Black Sea Straits. This in itself suggests that they are trying to push Ankara, starting with “beads” in the form of fighters, into a series of larger or smaller demarches in order to accumulate their critical mass. But will it work? Most likely not, since the fictitious nature of Washington’s “friendly disposition” is obvious.

The interests of the American military-industrial complex in the issue of selling the latest aircraft to Turkey also have a double bottom. The fact is that the first flight tests of the Turkish experimental 5th generation fighter KAAN developed by the TAI concern are just around the corner. They were already supposed to take place on January 17, then January 29, and now they have been postponed to a certain date “before March.” But despite this delay, in general the program is developing quite successfully, and in the future it may result in the emergence of a competitor to the American F-35, which will take away part of the Western market: by 2029, it is planned to produce 2 KAANs per month.

Lockheed Martin, naturally, is not interested in such a turn of events, and its influence could be decisive in the issue of the sale of the F-16 to Turkey and its possible return to the F-35 program. According to a number of sources, the modernization of the “sixteenth” is supposed to be carried out locally and precisely by TAI, which may distract some of the engineering personnel from working on KAAN. And hypothetical deliveries of the F-35 threaten to completely bury the Turkish fighter program, because then there will simply be no need for it, given the presence of an imported model already flying (somehow).

In general, as one movie character said, there are different gifts. Both the Greeks and the Turks have been seeking Uncle Sam’s consent for a very long time to purchase the latest aircraft, but so far they have only acquired an additional headache. Whether they are putting up with it in vain, time will tell.
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  1. Flight Offline Flight
    Flight (Von) 4 February 2024 17: 54
    The Americans decided not to wait for the SU-75 to appear, but to make money before the client lost his desire.
  2. Vladimir1155 Offline Vladimir1155
    Vladimir1155 (Vladimir) 4 February 2024 18: 16
    everything is very simple here, and Greece and Turkey are being forced to promise some kind of aircraft, who knows when, to give up effective Russian air defense systems that have now been proven by military actions, in exchange for promises... despite the fact that the Greeks are not friends with the Turks and are historical ideological enemies , and both of them are, in general, ideological enemies of the United States. here it will be stupid who is the first to give up their air defense, because air defense is all now, defenseless Greece will be bombed by the Turks and even the Macedonians and Albanians, with the tacit consent or even help from the depraved LGBT tolerant West led by the USA, if the Greeks were not taught by example Yugoslavia, which was just not bombed for unknown reasons, then with the Greeks this citadel and enclave of Orthodoxy, the West will end as it did with Libya, which arrogantly abandoned Russian weapons in favor of Western ones, and it is clear that Western weapons are simply switched off at the command of the United States... And the wise ASAD bet on Russia and Assad is alive and rules, unlike Gaddafi..... I wonder what fate Kyriakos Mitsotakis will choose for himself???? or does Mr. think that his connections in international banking structures will save him and, like Kerensky and Gorbachev, he will receive his 30 pieces of silver for betraying the Motherland and a pension somewhere in Switzerland??
    Turkey is in an even more delicate situation because its conflict with the Kurds, behind whom the United States is openly behind, is obvious, fighting is ongoing, the revival of Kurdistan is the separation of two-thirds of the territory from Turkey, and the transformation of its tiny defenseless country like Lebanon, all pan-Turkish ideas will have to be forgotten forever , Ataturk will turn over in his grave, it is possible to give Dardanelles and Istanbul to the Greeks, and of course Cyprus... the Islamic factor and the Israeli-Arab conflict puts all Muslims and Turkey in the first place at risk, because its position and size irritate the West, here I would like to have a dependent territory here (and throughout the world) like Honduras, so that it does not interfere and does not express its interests, especially those that contradict Israel and the US satellites
    In general, the exchange of air defense for aircraft is unequal, the air defense system has shown that planes are vulnerable and howl without crossing the front, and air defense is all about victory, and Western air defense has shown its total vulnerability to Russia; exchanging the effective S400 for an obviously worthless American patriot is stupid, and that is why the United States is proposing not a logical replacement of the C400 with patraoit, but a replacement with airplanes because they have not been proven to be ineffective, simply because they are not used in their own ..... especially since you can make more money on airplanes, and the problems of the air defense of the Indians (Greece and Turkey) sheriff (i.e. the USA) don’t bother
  3. strange guest Offline strange guest
    strange guest (Strange Guest) 4 February 2024 18: 46
    The Greeks would have to change these air defense systems one way or another. Everything tends to become outdated. Torahs were delivered to the Greeks a quarter of a century ago. Just like the 300s. And what an outdated weapon this is - we see in Ukraine, where missiles from these complexes fly not at air targets, but at residential buildings. I don’t think that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are worse specialists than the Greeks. The Greeks need it - such an unreliable weapon?
    1. Vladimir1155 Offline Vladimir1155
      Vladimir1155 (Vladimir) 4 February 2024 18: 51
      You’re kind of strange, don’t cast a shadow on the fence, it’s written that air defense systems are in service, have undergone routine maintenance and even modernization, but the Turkish S400 25 years ago hadn’t even been invented yet
      1. strange guest Offline strange guest
        strange guest (Strange Guest) 4 February 2024 18: 56
        So what? Do you see how crests are flying these missiles around their cities? I think it’s not on purpose, even though they are crests. I'm talking about the Greeks, not the Turks.
        1. Vladimir1155 Offline Vladimir1155
          Vladimir1155 (Vladimir) 4 February 2024 23: 00
          you are kind of strange, Ukraine uses air defense that is 37 years old and has never done routine maintenance, Greece has a system that is 15 years younger and regularly maintained, Greece’s air defense is about the same in age and efficiency as the effective Russian S300s used widely in their own country, because to maintain The combat readiness of age-related combat systems requires regular maintenance work, which both Russia and Greece did, but the Ukrofashists did not do due to crooked hands and total schizophrenia, their bridges fall a hundred years younger than St. Petersburg's over the Neva and the metro is flooded with feces... although it is younger Moscow and St. Petersburg.... is the logic clear?
          1. strange guest Offline strange guest
            strange guest (Strange Guest) 5 February 2024 00: 00
            If crests have total schizophrenia and crooked hands, then all doubts have disappeared - we will win any day. So 2 years is a long time for schizophrenics.
    2. RUR Offline RUR
      RUR 4 February 2024 23: 21
      where missiles from these complexes fly not at air targets, but at residential buildings.

      because they are used specifically for land
      purposes, and since they are not intended for this, there are costs - fragments end up in houses
  4. unc-2 Offline unc-2
    unc-2 (Nikolai Malyugin) 4 February 2024 19: 06
    Everyone sees this picture differently. Türkiye is not a country that will wait for American new aircraft. Although they are very necessary. Turkey is closely working on creating a new fighter. They are more successful in maritime affairs. When receiving foreign equipment, Türkiye certainly strives for its own models. What they promise regarding passages in the straits according to the old schedules is mandatory for us. The main thing for us was the presence of our fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. And this is what forced Turkey to extend the Montreux project. You need to have an eye on Turkey.
  5. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 5 February 2024 08: 58
    No matter how much the authors giggle, those countries that cannot produce aircraft themselves buy from those who can....
    We also recently sold aviation for... palm (or some other) oil, etc. There are different types of cake, they also wrote. And nothing, no questions, they say this is a success...