Italy pushes Eurofighter as Turkey's 'only alternative' to US options
The Italian Defense Ministry continues pushing Turkey to join the Eurofighter aircraft project as an alternative to its present fleet of US-made jets. 'Turkey wants part of its fighter aircraft fleet to remain outside the technological and other influence of the United States,' says a Turkish defense analyst. The pan-European Eurofighter fighter aircraft is the only viable alternative to U.S. planes in its category for the Turkish military, Italy’s deputy defense minister said late Tuesday, urging Turkey to join the ambitious European-led defense program.“The Eurofighter is the only alternative to U.S. aircraft, and provides a great relief to world countries,” Guido Crosetto told a small group of international reporters through an interpreter on the sidelines of the 2011 International Defense Industry Fair, or IDEF, being held in Istanbul. The members of the Eurofighter consortium include Germany, Italy, Britain and Spain. As an influential member of the group, Italy is leading the efforts to add Turkey to the consortium. Crosetto said the inclusion of India and Japan in the Eurofighter program was likely, and again urged Turkey to also join.