Turkey ready to buy Patriot Systems in addition to its S400

According to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Ankara would be ready to acquire Patriot air defense systems if Washington agreed to this transaction. Otherwise, Turkey will purchase other S400 systems, to complement the batteries already acquired and currently being delivered.

We understand, in this declaration, that this is a threat from the Turkish authorities vis-à-vis Washington, and NATO, if the embargo on the F35s was maintained. Indeed, Mevlut Cavusoglu makes no reference to any withdrawal of the S400s already acquired, as demanded by Mr. Esper, the American Secretary of Defense, to resume delivery of F35s. On the other hand, it opens up the possibility of acquiring Patriot systems, so as to have an anti-aircraft defense system compatible with NATO standards.

By proceeding in this way, the Turkish authorities are primarily addressing their public opinion, since the American reservations do not relate to the acquisition of Patriot systems, but to the cohabitation of F35 aircraft and S400 systems, likely to supply Russia in strategic data concerning NATO's stealth apparatus. Thus, if rather than the S400, Ankara had chosen the Franco-Italian SAMP/T Mamba, Washington would not have implemented the current embargo, although the US industry would certainly have used all arguments to bring back the Turks to more “fair” considerations.

In fact, this announcement, which may at first glance appear as an opening towards the United States, is none other than an alteration of the political message intended for Turkish public opinion, so as to anticipate the probable consequences of maintaining the decision concerning the refusal to deliver the F35 aircraft, and to prepare for the probable consequences of the acquisition of Russian aircraft, which will lead to significant tensions with NATO.

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