US approves sale of Patriot missile systems to Turkey

On December 18, 2018, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Turkey of eighty (80) Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM-T) missiles, sixty (60) PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.5 billion.

US approves sale of Patriot air defense missile systems to Turkey 925 001
Dutch Army Patriot missile system at Adana International Airport in Turkey, January 2013. (Picture source NATO)

Turkey has requested the possible sale of four (4) AN/MPQ-65 Radar Sets, four (4) Engagement Control Stations, ten (10) Antenna Mast Groups (AMGs), twenty (20) M903 Launching Stations, eighty (80) Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM-T) missiles with canisters, sixty (60) PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles, and five (5) Electrical Power Plant (EPP) III.

The U.S. State Department on July 2018, has announced talks with NATO ally Turkey on the possible sale of a Raytheon Co Patriot missile defense system.

Also included with this request are communications equipment, tools and test equipment, range and test programs, support equipment, prime movers, generators, publications and technical documentation, training equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training, Technical Assistance Field Team (TAFT), U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services, Systems Integration and Checkout (SICO), field office support, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $3.5 billion.

Since 2007, Turkey is on the process to acquire a new air defense missile system under the T-LORAMIDS name program. During the tender, U.S. firm Raytheon put in an offer with its Patriot missile defense system, as well as the Franco-Italian group Eurosam, owned by the multinational European missile maker MBDA and France’s Thales offering the SAMP/T, Russia with its S-400 and China with the FD-2000.

In 2013, Turkey selecting the Chinese FD-2000 surface-to-air missile system as the winner of the T-LORAMIDS program. On March 2015, China confirmed an agreement to sell the export version of the HQ-9 air defense missile system to Turkey. In November 2015 Turkey has cancelled a $3.4-billion tender provisionally awarded to China to develop a long-range missile defence system. The Turkish defense industry committee decided to cancel the existing project and focus on work to develop our long-range air and missile defense system with domestic resources.

On October 2018, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said the deployment of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems in Turkey would begin in October 2019 and Ankara had already started hiring military specialists to operate the weapons. They will be sent to Russia for training.

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