FM: Turkey may buy Patriot SAMs from US

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.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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