The US has offered to sell Patriot anti-air and anti-missile defense systems to Turkey. An American delegation that arrived earlier in Ankara is still meeting with Turkey’s Defense Ministry, Interior Ministry and Defense Industry Ministry to discuss the deal, Anadolu reported on Thursday.
On December 19, the US State Department approved the decision to sell Turkey the Patriot systems for $3.5 billion. “The State Department has approved the decision to supply Turkey with 80 MIM-104E interceptor missiles and 60 RAC-3 missiles for the Patriot systems,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced.
The US will also sell Turkey 4 AN/MQP-65 radars and other equipment.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoǧlu told reporters in his end-of-year address that Ankara sent its last letter to Washington asking for Patriot systems nearly one and a half years ago, and that the State Department’s decision was based on this offer. The Turkish diplomat emphasized, however, that the acquisition of the US-made Patriot systems would not affect the deal with Russia concerning the S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile systems.
Turkey has several criteria for the Patriot deal, one of them being an acceptable price. However, of prime importance for Ankara is that the technology is handed over, Anadolu notes.
In November 2016, news came out that Russia and Turkey were negotiating the sale of S-400 systems. In September 2017, Russia confirmed that the contract had been signed.
In the middle of June, 2018, an informed source told TASS that Russia’s defense industry companies had been instructed to finish producing the long-range anti-air systems for Turkey by May 2019.
At the start of September 2018, Dmitry Shugaev, director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said that the S-400s will be shipped to Turkey in the middle of 2019.
According to various media reports, Turkey has already begun to build platforms for the S-400 Triumph systems, despite the US’s objections to the deal.
Turkey’s plans to buy S-400s from Russia were met with extreme scepticism by NATO and the US administration. Their primary argument is that the Russian systems are not compatible with the equivalent systems already in the armaments of Turkey and other NATO states.