U.S. delegation in Ankara submits offer for Patriot batteries

A U.S. delegation having meetings with Turkish authorities on Wednesday submitted a proposal for Turkey’s purchase of U.S. made Patriot surface-to-air missiles, Anadolu Agency reported.

Anadolu did not give any information about the details of the package or whether the offer included a precondition for Turkey to cancel its purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems. 

The U.S. State Department last month informed the U.S. Congress that it had approved a $3.5 billion sale of missile systems to Turkey. The package approved included 80 Patriot missiles, 60 PAC-3 missile interceptors and related equipment.

Turkey has twice passed over the Patriot — in 2013 when it chose a Chinese system it later dropped, and in 2017 when it finalised the S-400 deal with Moscow. In both cases, Turkey insisted on a transfer of missile technology, something the United States has declined to do. 

The U.S. officials oppose Turkey’s purchase of Russian systems, saying as a NATO member, Turkey cannot be allowed to plug Russia’s S-400 weaponry into allied systems, such as integrating it with the U.S. military’s F-35 fighter jets.

Experts expect the U.S. administration to ask Turkey to drop the purchase of the S-400 system, but Turkish authorities last month said that they would go ahead with the purchase of S-400 systems from Russia even if the U.S. decides to sell the Patriot batteries.