Turkey and the United States continue negotiations for the former’s acquisition of Raytheon’s Patriot anti-ballistic missile systems, officials from the Turkish defense ministry have revealed, amid an ongoing bilateral tension over the Turkish deployment of S-400 air defense weaponry from Russia.
“Defense Industry Presidency is continuing talks with the U.S. for the procurement of the Patriot systems as an alternative project for the fulfillment of our needs as part of the Long Range Air and Missile Defense program,” senior officials from the Defense Ministry told the media at a briefing on July 25.
Turkey has long been criticizing the United States for ignoring its requests to buy Patriots in a bid to augment its aerial defense and stressing that it had to purchase a similar system from Russia after its previous attempts were denied by Washington.
The United States has replied to Turkey’s letter of request for Patriot acquisition in early January of this year, but its first offer did not satisfy the Turkish government. U.S. officials say they submitted a much better offer to Turkey in March and are still waiting for an official response.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has several times underlined that Turkey could still consider purchasing the $3.5 billion Patriot systems should the offer meet their criteria. The issue was raised at a meeting between Erdoğan and U.S. President Donald Trump in their latest in-person meeting in Osaka in late June.