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Turkey Wants Patriot Missile System Tech Transfer as Condition for Deal With US

© AFP 2022 / BULENT KILICA Patriot missile launcher system is pictured at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep (file)
A Patriot missile launcher system is pictured at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep (file) - Sputnik International
Earlier, the US State Department approved the sale of $3.5 billion-worth of Patriot PAC-3 air defence systems to Turkey in a bid to convince Ankara to ditch its $2.5 billion S-400 deal with Moscow.

Turkey is counting on the US to provide it with the technology behind the Patriot missile system before a deal can be reached, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.

"We received a proposal [on the Patriots] from the delegation that came from the US. For us, the timing of the delivery of the systems is important. We purchased the S-400, but we still need more similar systems. Our criteria are also joint production and technology transfer," the Turkish foreign minister said, speaking to reporters on Thursday.

Recharging an S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft weapon system during the combat duty drills of the surface to air-misile regiment in the Moscow Region. - Sputnik International
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In earlier negotiations with Ankara, Washington was reticent to transfer its patriot missile technology to Turkey. Moscow, meanwhile, promised Turkey joint production and technology transfer as part of the $2.5 billion S-400 deal.

A US team wrapped up two days-worth of talks with its Turkish counterparts on Wednesday. Earlier, Turkish media reported that the US team would look at "express specific concerns" about Turkey's purchase of the S-400s from Russia and how this would affect the "flight safety of F-35 aircraft."

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said Ankara would go ahead with its S-400 purchase despite US concerns, saying there was "no link" between the S-400s and the Patriot missile systems. "Turkey may buy Patriot systems in the future. But it will be impossible if abandoning S-400 will be one of the conditions for the purchase," he said.

The Triumph S-400 missile systems. File photo - Sputnik International
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Moscow penned a $2.5 billion deal with Ankara on the sale of four battalion sets of S-400s in December 2017. The first of the systems are expected to be delivered later this year. Designed to stop enemy aircraft, drones, cruise and ballistic missiles, the S-400 is currently the most advanced mobile air defence system in Russia's arsenal.

Washington has spent months lobbying Turkey to pull out of the S-400 deal. US officials have characterised the possible deployment of S-400s in areas where F-35s are set to operate as a 'threat', usually without providing details on why this would be so. Observers have argued that the S-400s will allow Turkey to test just how formidable the fifth-gen US jet's stealth systems are when matched up against the Russian air defence system. Last year, the US halted the delivery of F-35s to Turkey amid disagreement over the S-400.

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