The U.S. State Department says the U.S. has approved the sale of a $3.5 billion Patriot missile system to Turkey.
The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Turkey of 80 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM-T) missiles, 60 PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.5 billion, the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 18 December.
The State Department says the deal “will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a key NATO Ally on the front lines of the fight against terrorism.”
It comes amid U.S. concerns that Turkey, a NATO ally, is buying surface-to-air missile systems from Russia. The U.S. has complained that the Russian system is not compatible with weapons used by other NATO countries.
The State Department says, “The proposed sale will enhance Turkey’s interoperability with the United States and NATO.”
The State Department said earlier this year it was working with Turkey on the possible sale of a Raytheon Co Patriot missile defense system to keep it from buying a Russian-made S-400 system.