US offer to Turkey on Patriot system has expired

The U.S. offer to sell Turkey a Patriot missile defense system has expired, a State Department official confirmed Thursday, amid ongoing tension over Ankara’s defense dealings with Russia.

“We have consistently told Turkey that our latest offer of PATRIOT would be off the table if it took delivery of the S-400 system. Our PATRIOT offer has expired,” the official told The Hill.

{mosads}Turkey took delivery of the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system in July, despite repeated U.S. warnings about the consequences of following through with the purchase.

A week after Turkey began accepting delivery of the S-400, the United States officially kicked the NATO ally out of the F-35 program.

U.S. officials are worried that the S-400’s powerful radars could be used to gather information on the F-35, the United States’s most advanced fighter jet. U.S. and NATO officials have also warned Turkey the S-400 is incompatible with NATO systems.

The United States had been trying to convince Turkey to buy the Raytheon-made Patriot system instead of the S-400. In December, the State Department announced it approved the possible sale, estimated to be worth about $3.5 billion.

The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act requires sanctions on those who do business with Russia’s defense industry. But the Trump administration has yet to announce sanctions on Turkey, despite lawmakers in both parties calling for them.

In public, Trump has appeared sympathetic to Turkey’s position, placing the blame on the Obama administration for not selling Turkey the Patriot system. 

The United States offered to sell Turkey the Patriot system in both the Obama and Trump administrations, but Ankara turned down the offers because the United States would not share sensitive technology Turkey wants to be able to build its own weapons.

Tags Donald Trump Patriot Missile systems Russia S-400 missile system Turkey

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