07:36 GMT +323 February 2019
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    A Patriot missile launcher system is pictured at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep (file)

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

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    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.

    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.

    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.

    Related:

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    Turkey Refuses to Cancel S-400 Purchase as Precondition for US Patriot Deal
    US Delegation Offers Turkey Patriot Air Defence Systems Deal - Reports
    What's Behind the US' Decision to Supply Patriot Systems to Turkey?
    Turkey's Purchases of Russian S-400, US Patriot Systems Not Connected - Kremlin
    State Department: US Authorizes $3.5Bln Sell of Patriot Missile System to Turkey
    Tags:
    technology transfer, air defence system, conditions, negotiations, talks, agreement, Patriot missile system, S-400, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey, United States, Russia
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