The US State Department has cleared the way to sell $320-million air-to-air missiles to Turkey, as part of latter’s efforts to boost its security amid rising regional threats
The United States has cleared a potential $320 million advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) missiles sale to Turkey after the country demanded arms from its NATO ally amid increasing security risks in the region.
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has announced that the State Department has approved a possible sale to Turkey for AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM missiles from Raytheon and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $320 million, a statement released by the agency on its website said.
Turkey has requested 145 AMRAAMs, 10 missile guidance sections, and 40 LAU-129 launchers, containers, support equipment, spare and repair parts, integration activities, publications and technical documentation, test equipment, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. government and contractor logistics, engineering and technical support and other related elements or logistical and program support.
The statement said the sale was consistent with the “U.S. national interests of assisting its NATO ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense.”
“The Turkish Air Force (THK) intends to obtain these missiles to modernize its inventory, which will support its own air defense needs and improve its interoperability with the U.S. and other NATO allies,” the statement said.
Under U.S. law, this kind of military equipment sale to an allied country is carried out automatically unless at least one senator formally requests a hold on the sale within two weeks following the DSCA’s notification. No such opposition is expected in this case.
According to the announcement, the missiles will be used on the F-16 aircraft – and eventually F-35 aircraft – in the Turkish army’s inventory and will maintain the THK’s air-to-air capability to defend its extensive coastline and borders against future threats.
“The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” it said.
“The implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips to Turkey involving U.S. government and contractor representatives for technical reviews/support, program management and training. U.S. contractor representatives will be required in Turkey for integration, testing, and training.
The number and duration are unknown and will be determined during contract negotiations,” it said.