Turkey: US missile deal not to impact S-400 purchase from Russia
Iran Press TV
Mon Dec 24, 2018 07:08PM
Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin says his country's possible purchase of Patriot missile systems from the United States will not affect a deal with Russia to buy S-400 missile systems.
"We are not closing the door to the Patriot; it all depends on the price, the possibility of technology transfer, joint production and other four or five important points … We have received the best offers from Russia. If the United States provides us with good conditions, we will also evaluate them," Kalin said at a news conference in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday.
The spokesman also underlined that the purchase of US missiles worth $3.5 billion was not an alternative to Russia' S-400 systems.
"The deliveries of the [Russian-made] S-400 systems will not be affected, and they will begin in 2019. This is not an alternative, but two parallel processes," the spokesman stressed.
The Kremlin announced last week that there was no link between Turkey's possible purchase of US Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems and that of the advanced Russian-built S-400 air defense missile system, saying Moscow was in the process of fulfilling the terms of the deal with Ankara.
Moscow and Ankara finalized an agreement on the delivery of the S-400 missile systems in December 2017. The deal has drawn concerns among some of Turkey's NATO allies, who claim the missile batteries are not compatible with those of the military alliance and that the purchase could jeopardize Ankara's acquisition of F-35 fighter jets.
The S-400, whose full name is the Triumf Mobile Multiple Anti-Aircraft Missile System (AAMS), is an advanced Russian missile system designed to detect, track, and destroy planes, drones, or missiles as far as 402 kilometers away. It has previously been sold only to China and India.
Turkey is striving to boost its air defense, particularly after Washington decided in 2015 to withdraw its Patriot surface-to-air missile system from Turkey's border with Syria, a move that weakened Turkey's air defense.
Before gravitating towards Russia, the Turkish military reportedly walked out of a $3.4 billion contract for a similar Chinese system. The withdrawal took place under purported pressure from Washington.
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