The U.S. has kept the price of the F-35 fighter at $78 million, which is already lower than the price of some four-generation aircraft, according to U.S. media. So now the United States is planning to sell F-35 fighters to potential countries in the Middle East. But because the U.S. shut down the F-35's production line in Turkey and kicked Turkey out of the F-35's purchase plan because of Turkey's previous purchases of S-400 anti-aircraft missiles, and now that the U.S. wants to open up the market for F-35 fighters in the Middle East, it will be hard for the U.S. to sell the F-35's in the Middle East if, by previous standards, anyone who has military cooperation with Russia cannot buy them. But with the F-35s so cheap, it would leave other countries in the Middle East without considering models like Su-57E or FC-31 that are less capable than the F-35s, but at no price.
The U.S. hasn't already estimated a potential order for more than 3,200 F-35 fighters in the Middle East, and the lower unit price of the aircraft has left many countries with a desire to buy the aircraft, pushing future sales of more than 4,200, the report said. But so to speak, because of Turkey, the United States cannot sell these aircraft directly in the short term, because once they are sold to other Middle Eastern countries, most of which have purchased Russian weapons, this will have a huge impact on the relationship between the United States and Turkey, and the United States is likely to lose the Turkish ally directly.
So the U.S. will not be able to sell the F-35s to the Middle East in the short term, as most of the countries in the Middle East have bought or are now armed with Russian-made weapons, such as the United Arab Emirates, which has purchased Russian armored S-1 anti-aircraft missiles, and other countries have purchased a large amount of Russian equipment. Therefore, if the United States wants to create a situation that surrounds Iran and Russia with F-35 fighter jets, it will not be able to do so in the short term.
The U.S. is currently working on improving the ability of an F-35 fighter to intercept a ballistic missile, which has a relatively strong situational awareness, so it can detect and shoot down ballistic missiles in the ascending phase, the report said. In addition, because the U.S. military is equipped with the most sophisticated encryption system on the F-35 fighter, even if sold to other countries, there is no need to worry about leaks in use.
Experts say the U.S. now wants to use the F-35 to open the door to the purchase of aircraft from the rest of the world, which cannot only completely squeeze the market for Russian-made aircraft, but also make it difficult for Iran to rival other countries in the case of the deployment of F-35 fighter jets in the Middle East. And the military gap between U.S. allies and non-allies is even more pronounced when countries are equipped with F-35 fighters, in a potential environment that has brought many non-U.S. allies closer to the U.S. for advanced fighter jets.