Turkey is determined to acquire Russian-made S-400 SAMs despite US threats, says Erdogan Karakus, a retired Turkish Air Force lieutenant-general, explaining why Ankara does not consider the US’ MIM-104 Patriot system to be a substitute for the S-400.
The US and NATO are continuing to exert pressure on Turkey over its planned acquisition of S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems, arguing that the weapon is incompatible with the NATO missile defence system and poses a security threat to the bloc.
On 7 June, acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan gave Turkey an ultimatum, stressing that it should choose between buying S-400 SAMs and Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters as it could not use both. To break the stalemate, the US offered Ankara to purchase its Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) system instead of the Russian anti-aircraft weapon.
“Turkey does not consider the US proposal to deliver Patriots sufficient to meet its defence requirements”, says Erdogan Karakus, a retired Turkish Air Force lieutenant-general and the head of the Turkish Union of Retired Officers. “For this very reason Ankara insists on receiving S-400 systems”.
Additionally, Ankara knows that if the US provides Patriots to Turkey, there will be no talk of any sort of technology transfer, he pointed out.
“Therefore, there were problems with the acquisition of the Patriot from the start. When we asked the Americans to provide us with this system…