U.S. refuses to send F-16 training pilots to TurkeyStaff Writer | September 1, 2017
The United States has refused to send F-16 warplane trainers to Turkey after Ankara requested them in order to fill the gap in the number of Turkish jet pilots.
Defense The Air Forces were hit by dismissals
During the thwarted coup, 25 coup pilots flew with F-16 jets and 11 of them bombed strategic sites.
After the thwarted coup, it was revealed that a significant number of followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fehullah Gülen were in the Air Forces Command and 1,752 personnel were dismissed with state of emergency decrees.
According to official numbers, between 300 and 350 of those dismissed were warplane pilots and as a result the ratio of number of seats and the number of pilots decreased to 1/0.8, when it should be 1/1.5.
The F-16 jets of American firm Lockheed Martin constitute a majority of Turkey’
warplane fleet with 240 jets.
the U.S. objected to Pakistan sending F-16 jet pilot trainers to Turkey, based on the agreement that U.S.-origin equipment’s purchase, sale, maintenance and training between third countries needed approval from Washington.
Upon the prevention of Pakistani trainers from coming to Turkey, Ankara renewed its request from the U.S. According to information obtained by daily Hürriyet, the Pentagon has once again rejected Ankara’s request, saying “there is no program regarding training pilots abroad.” ■