The sale to Greece is worth 8.6 billion dollars. The possible sales to Turkey and Greece would not change the fundamental military balance in the region, the US State Department said in a statement.
Reuters news agency described the simultaneous US approval of F-16 and F-35 sales to Turkey and Greece as "a deal Washington is pushing forward as it seeks to strike a balance between two alliance members with a history of strained relations."
The US State Department sent the official notification to Congress approving the sale of 40 F-35 fighter jets and equipment to Greece, the statement said:
"The proposed sale will help Greece modernize its air force, improve its defense capabilities, contribute to NATO missions to maintain regional security, defend NATO allies, and continue to work with the United States and NATO forces."
Mitsotakis: Along with the F-35s, an armament package to strengthen the entire armed forces is also free
In a letter to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pointed to the need for a formal approval process, including Congressional approval, and announced that in addition to the sale of some 40 new F-35s, Greece will receive 3 Protector-class coast guard boats and several military trucks and tow trucks under the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) Program.
Mitsotakis stated that the letter sent to him by Blinken shows the strategic depth of US-Greece relations.
"With this letter, Greece is on its way to purchasing 40 F-35s, but at the same time, it is getting an armament package that will strengthen all three branches of the Armed Forces and the Greek Coast Guard, completely free of charge," the Greek Prime Minister said.
Congress has 15 days for consideration
The US Congress has 15 days to consider the sale, and if no objection is raised, the sale is officially finalized.
According to the relevant law, this period is 15 days for NATO member countries and 30 days for non-NATO countries.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee have the right to evaluate and object to arms sales to foreign countries.
The US State Department had also officially notified Congress about the sale of 40 F-16 fighter jets to Turkey and the modernization of existing F-16s.
Greece, which made the necessary application to the US for the purchase of F-35s in February 2022, has been waiting for a long time for a response to this request.