Turkey’s purchase of US missiles worth $3.5 billion will not affect its deal to acquire rival S-400 missiles from Russia, the Turkish presidential spokesman said Monday, according to AFP.
"The US Patriot sale process does not affect the S-400 process. We don't see one as an alternative for the other," said Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The United States last week approved the sale of $3.5 billion in missiles to Turkey, offering an ultimatum after US outrage over the NATO ally's plans to buy the S-400 from Russia.
The State Department said it had informed Congress of plans to sell Turkey a package that includes 80 Patriot missiles, 60 PAC-3 missile interceptors and related equipment.
The move is seen as a counter move to Turkey’s purchase of S-400 anti-ballistic missile defense systems from Russia, which has long been an issue of contention between Turkey and its allies, particularly the United States.
Military experts are concerned that the deployment of S-400s would put the security of allied weapon systems, particularly F-35 aircraft and radar facilities, in danger.
Turkish officials have previously said it "needs" the S-400 missile defense system and repeatedly stressed that Ankara would buy systems from allies if they had sold them.
Turkish media has reported that the first delivery from Russia will be in 2019.