The Donald Trump administration automatically rescinded a $3.5 billion deal to sell Raytheon-produced Patriot missile defenses to Turkey after it received the Russian S-400 system in July, Al-Monitor has learned. The cancellation had previously not been reported.
The move denies Ankara a potential off ramp to remain aligned with NATO-compatible systems. Turkey had periodically sought Patriot batteries provided by the alliance to ward off threats to its airspace from Syria.
“We have consistently told Turkey that our latest offer of Patriot would be withdrawn if it took delivery of the S-400 system,” a State Department official told Al-Monitor. “Our Patriot offer has expired.”
During the tenure of Patrick Shanahan as acting defense secretary, the Pentagon had indicated that it would take the offer for the discounted American missile defense system off the table if Turkey took delivery of the S-400, a move widely seen as a major shake-up in Ankara’s nearly 70-year association with NATO.
In a press conference five days after Turkey took possession of the Russian system, however, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy David Trachtenberg left open the possibility that Ankara could still close the deal for the Patriots. Trachtenberg resigned from his post days later.
“We’ve offered the Patriots to Turkey numerous times,” Trachtenberg said. “If Turkey’s interested in Patriots, they will let us know.”