Saturday, 24 August, 2019

U.S. proposes sale of Patriot missile system to Turkey

The deal to buy Russian S-400 missile systems is Ankara's most significant accord with a non-NATO supplier Kremlin Sale of U.S. Patriot Systems to Turkey Will Not Impede Russian Missile Deliveries AFP Natalia KOLESNIKOVA19 Dec 2018
Patty Aguilar | 21 December, 2018, 14:09

The United States said Wednesday it approved the sale of $3,5 billion in missiles to Turkey, offering an ultimatum after USA outrage over the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally's plans to buy from Russian Federation.

The proposed deal would include 80 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhance Missiles, 60 PAC-3 ballistic missile defense variants, and support equipment for a total estimated cost of $3.5 billion, the Department of Defense said on Tuesday.

"The project and the contract on S-400s is at the stage of its implementation and it will be continued", Peskov said, responding to a question about whether the decision to supply US Patriot surface-to-air missile systems would affect Russia's accords with Ankara. The S-400 has different capabilities than the Patriot, so the two could theoretically provide complementary benefits, but getting them to work together smoothly is technically hard and politically impossible.

The complication over the S-400 was not the only obstacle to better US-Turkish ties.

Turkey said last month that its purchase of the Russian missiles was a done deal and could not be cancelled.

A purchase from Russian Federation "would have serious ramifications for USA ability to do business with Turkey across the defence trade spectrum", the official said.

Purchasing weapons from Moscow risks violating the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) and may result in serious sanctions.

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In both cases, Turkey insisted on a transfer of missile technology regarding the Patriot before it would consider the system, something the USA declined to do.

The State Department announced that the deal "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". "They also may buy Patriots in the future". "Here we are implementing the agreements we already have with our Turkish colleagues". Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

Speaking to Daily Sabah, Merve Seren, a SETA security researcher, reminded readers that the department's approval does not mean that the sale will happen and the sale is dependent on the decision of Congress.

However, Kurc added, this could be hard for Turkish officials because they need to justify this decision under the shadow of a down payment for S-400.

At the same time, he stressed that Russian Federation is open for mutually beneficial cooperation with Turkey. Turkey has indeed been trying to diversify its foreign policy and allies through buying different defense systems and redefining its position in the worldwide arena to better retain its national security. Pentagon officials and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leadership have been vocal that Turkey can not be allowed to plug the S-400 into allied systems, such as integrating it with the F-35.

Turkey had been trying to purchase the air defense system from the USA for some time now but was never able to get a commitment from Washington when it was needed the most.

Turkey is also not guaranteed to buy the Patriot system. This has generated controversy due to current tensions with Russian Federation and the fact the S-400 could not be integrated with other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members air defense systems.

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