US State Department approves Patriot missile sale to Turkey
The US State Department has approved the $3.5 billion sale of the Patriot air and missile defense system to Turkey.
“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Turkey of eighty (80) Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM-T) missiles, sixty (60) PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.5 billion,” the US Department of Defense’s (Pentagon) Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) published press release on this possible sale.
DSCA also mentions in the press release that “Turkey has requested the possible sale of four (4) AN/MPQ-65 Radar Sets, four (4) Engagement Control Stations, ten (10) Antenna Mast Groups (AMGs), twenty (20) M903 Launching Stations, eighty (80) Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM-T) missiles with canisters, sixty (60) PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles, and five (5) Electrical Power Plant (EPP) III.”
“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a key NATO Ally on the front lines of the fight against terrorism,” DSCA added.
S-400 deal still on says Russia
Despite comment in Turkish media that Turkey towards the US, the Russian Government made a statement that Turkey’s military deal with America will not affect the sale of S400 surface-to-air missile deal.
“The sale of US Patriot missile systems to Turkey won’t affect in any way the Moscow-Ankara accord on S-400 deliveries”, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
Turkey’s announcement that it intended to buy the S-400 missile system from Russia for $2.5 billion increased tensions between Ankara and Washington. This resulted in the US government warning Turkey that it would cancel the sale of F-35 fighter jets. Turkey has an order for 100 of the aircraft.
According to Foreign Policy , US officials were particularly concerned that integration of the S-400 with the F-35 and NATO air defenses could compromise closely guarded US and allied military secrets.
However, tensions between the two countries have eased since the release of US pastor Andrew Brunson, whom Turkey had detained on terrorism charges in relation to the failed July 2016 coup attempt.
Turkey’s military purchase from the US includes tools and test equipment, ranging and test programs, support equipment, generators, publications and technical documentation, training equipment, spares and repair parts as well as the training of personnel.
According to Foreign Policy, the DSCA notified the US Congress about the State Department’s approval on Tuesday, a key step in the process of sealing a deal.
A Turkish official who wants to remain anonymous told the BBC that Turkey has no plan to go back on S-400 deal.
“The defence missile system worths $2.5 billion can’t be left to fall in decay on the grounds that it’s not compatible with NATO systems.” he added.