The US State Department has approved the sale of 80 Patriot missiles and other military equipment to Turkey, the Pentagon said Tuesday after notifying Congress, a procedure that does not mean that a contract between Washington and Ankara has actually been concluded.
Earlier this year, the United States said it wanted to convince Turkey to favor Raytheon’s Patriot system over S-400 Russian air-to-air missiles.
Ankara signed a contract valued at 2.5 billion dollars (2.1 billion euros) for the delivery of Russian-designed S-400 missiles in late 2017.
The supply of Russian missiles to Turkey worries Ankara’s allies in NATO, especially because the S-400 missiles can not be integrated into the Atlantic Alliance’s military structures.
US officials have also warned Ankara that the deal with Moscow could call into question the purchase of F-35 stealth fighter jets from Lockheed Martin and trigger US sanctions.