A senior defense official says there is currently ‘no demand’ for the missile defense system
Turkey has no intention of getting the US-made Patriot missile system and will no longer seek to buy the F-35 fighter jet, given the issue “firm” after Washington kicked Ankara out of the multinational craft’s development program in 2019, a senior defense official said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomatic Forum on Monday, Defense Industries Chairman Ismail Demir said the Patriot missile defense system had been “removed from the agenda”.
“At the moment, there is no request from the Patriots on our side. If we talk about the defense industry, we have turned the page on the matter. he added.
After years of fruitless negotiations with the United States to obtain Patriots, Ankara – a member of NATO – opted for the Russian S-400 system, signing a $ 2.5 billion agreement for four batteries in 2017, which were delivered two years later.
However, Washington strongly opposed the sale, saying the S-400 was not compatible with other NATO systems and could even compromise security. He responded by expelling Turkey from the F-35 program – despite years of cooperation in developing the fighter – and later even imposed sanctions on a number of Turkish officials, including Demir himself.
Although Turkey demanded reimbursement after having already paid $1.4 billion for the plane and denounced the sanctions as “unfair,” Demir said the two sides are unlikely to reach an agreement on the F-35, and the question now is “firm.”
“Measures have been taken to listen to each other and understand each other. It is a good thing that the dialogue has started. We think the F-35 problem is over and we have to fend for ourselves,” Demir told reporters.
He went on to say that Ankara is instead focusing on developing its own aircraft and “determined to modernize” its American-made F-16s, after last year requesting the purchase of 40 additional F-16s and 80 upgrade kits for the aircraft.
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