U.S. delivers military helicopters to Turkey despite fighter jet freeze

Turkey has received a second batch of military helicopters from the United States, Daily Sabah Newspaper reported.   

The entry into service of the first of 5 CH-47 Chinook heavy transport helicopters in the batch was announced on Saturday by the Presidency of the Defence Industry, following a deal with Boeing to buy 11 of the helicopters back in 2011. The first batch of 6 aircraft was delivered in 2016.  

Delivery of the helicopters was made despite the continuing crises between Turkey and the United States over multirole F-35 jet fighters.

Turkey has ordered 30 of the advanced multirole aircraft and had planned to buy 100 in total. Its defence industry is part of the consortium that designed and produced the aircraft and has invested more than $1.25 billion in its development.

Although Turkey took delivery of its first F-35 in Texas in June this year, the United States has been stalling the process as tensions with its NATO ally continue to rise. At the start of August U.S. President Donald Trump approved a defence budget law delaying delivery of Turkish F-35’s until the Pentagon issues a report on Turkish-American relations.

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