FM: Turkey may buy Patriot SAMs from US
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 10
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Turkey may buy the Patriot surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, Trend reports via Turkish media.
Cavusoglu stressed that the purchase of Patriot SAMs does not mean abandoning the Russian S-400.
He underlined that Turkey needs airspace protection.
It was earlier reported that the US administration decided to sell Patriot SAMs to Turkey for a total of $3.5 billion. Permission was obtained for the sale of 80 Patriot MIM-104E anti-aircraft guided missiles and 60 PAC-3 missiles, as well as related equipment. Turkey also requested to purchase four AN/MPQ-65 radar and control stations, 10 AMG antennas, 20 autonomous M903 launchers and four intercept control stations.
At the end of November 2018, Ibrahim Kalin, a representative of the Turkish President, announced that the country is ready to purchase Patriot systems in the event of a good offer from Washington. Kalin said that Turkey "is buying these systems for self-defense and is not going to attack anyone."
The US is actively trying not to allow Turkey to purchase the S-400 air defense systems from Russia. The US warned that if Turkey acquires these systems, it may refuse to sell F-35 fifth-generation fighter-bombers to Turkey.
First reports on the negotiations of the Russian Federation and Turkey on the supply of S-400 appeared in November 2016. The conclusion of a contract was confirmed by the Russian side on Sept. 12, 2017.
Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said the deployment of S-400 will begin in October 2019. The head of Russia's state corporation Rostec, Sergey Chemezov, said in December 2017 that the cost of S-400 will be $2.5 billion for Turkey.
Turkey is the first NATO state to receive such an air defense system from Russia.
Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu