Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the country would mull over the possibility of buying Patriot defense systems from the US, if they match up to the capabilities of the Russian S-400s it acquired for $2.5 billion in 2017.
“No matter what package of S-400s we get, we can buy a certain amount of Patriots. But I said we have to see conditions that at least match up to the S-400s,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by Reuters on Friday.
“This is not an offense, but a defense system. Turkey needs such a defense system,” he added.
Erdogan will discuss the purchase with his US counterpart Donald Trump at the UN General Assembly meetings in New York later this month.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Gen. Jeffery L. Harrigian, USAF Commander for Europe and Africa, stated “there’s no room for an S-400 to be operating inside of Turkey,” which, according to him, is an “incredibly important NATO ally.”
"We have Russia's support": Erdogan
After Russia began delivery of S-400s to Turkey this July, Washington kicked Turkey out of its F-35 fighter jet program citing “security” issues, after suspending training of Turkish F-35 pilots.
“Turkey can take care of itself if Washington continues its stance with the F-35 program,” Erdogan said, adding that Turkey’s defense industry has Russia’s support. The president stressed that it was offered Su-57 and Su-35 jets.