Thursday Apr 19, 201204:56 PM GMT
'US sells Israel-friendly jets to Turkey'
A Turkish F-16 (file photo)
Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:39AM
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A report has revealed that all the fighter jets purchased by Turkey from the US have been rendered impotent against Israel.


In a recent article published in the Turkish newspapers, Milligazete, Turkey's former ambassador to the US and Japan Sukru M. Elekdag pointed to a system called IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) that is loaded on planes sold by the US.

The system can identify friend and enemy targets including planes and warships from long distances. It is also capable of firing missiles automatically.

According to Elekdag, the US gives IFF system codes only to Israel, however, Turkey's fighter jets have a version of the program that identifies Israeli targets as friends by default.

“Turkey has 203 F-16 C/D fighter jets. These are Block 30 and Block 40 versions. The Block 50 and 52+ versions of these planes are newer and have more advanced fighting capabilities. Turkey has ordered 30 Block 50 F-16 fighter jets, but the US has not yet delivered them to Turkey,” the newspaper quoted Elekdag as saying.

He noted that Israel has 339 F-16 fighter jets, 102 of which are F-16 Block 52+.

The report also pointed to Turkey's move to spend millions of dollars to buy US-made F-35 fighter jets that will again have the US version of the program, meaning that they will also be impotent against Israeli targets.

Elekdag says that the US gives the source of the codes only to Israel as Tel Aviv's security is more important than any other thing to the US.

The comments by Elekdag come as a September report in Turkey's Star Gazete newspaper said that Turkey has developed a new system for its US-made F-16 fighter jets, which will allow them for the first time to fire at Israeli targets.

According to the report, the new IFF developed by Turkey's Military Electronics Industry (ASELSAN) will replace the US version of the system.

ASH/GHN/HJL
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