U.S. Approves $3.5 Billion Sale Of Missile Defense Systems To Turkey
The United States government has approved a $3.5 billion deal to sell Turkey advanced missile defense systems, after Ankara caused an outrage last year by tentatively agreeing to purchase the rival Russian-made S-400. The American package reportedly includes 80 Patriot missiles, 60 PAC-3 missile interceptors and related equipment. “The proposed sale will increase the defensive capabilities of the Turk[ish] military to guard against hostile aggression and shield NATO allies who might train and operate within Turkey’s borders,” according to the State Department. Turkey caused an uproar by announcing the S-400 agreement with Moscow, drawing a rebuke from NATO which was formed as a bulwark against the former Soviet Union. The move raised the specter of Ankara sharing Western military technology with Russia, whose systems also are not inter-operable with those of NATO member states and therefore could create major logistical problems in ongoing American and European operations in the Middle East.