(Newswire.net — April 28, 2018) — Washington expressed “serious concern” over Ankara’s decision to ditch the US Patriot air defense system and purchase Russian S-400 ground-to-air missiles.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday warned of the “seriousness of US concerns” over the installment of Russian S-400 missile batteries that are not compatible with NATO’s defenses, Russia Today reports.
At the meeting in Brussels with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, the US Secretary “underscored the seriousness of US concerns… if they go ahead,” Reuters reported adding, “He [Pompeo] asked Cavusoglu to closely consider NATO interoperable systems.”
The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasized that ties with NATO are strong and unquestionable, despite NATO officials having warned Turkey about “unspecified consequences of purchasing the S-400.”
Turkey officials say that US made Patriot (Ratheon) system is still an option, however, according to Russian news agency Sputnik, Turkey already paid in advance for the Russian S-400 system. The same system has already been purchased by China and has the interest of one of the greatest importer of US weapons Saudi Arabia.
If Turkey as a NATO member installs Russian air-defense missiles, it would open Pandora’s box, paving the way for other Alliance members to follow. Experts say it will start with S-400s but may continue with other military systems made by the Russian Federation, which could devastate the largest US economy booster – the export of military equipment and weapons.
The market for air-defense systems, however, recognizes the Russian S-400 as significantly better to its Patriot counterpart which in its latest version PAC-3 MSE is still two times slower and has half the range of the S-400.
The range of the Patriots radar coverage is about 100 miles compared to almost 400 miles of radar coverage of the S-400 which implies that a country could defend its territory with fewer S-400 rockets which are also significantly cheaper than the Patriot equivalents.
So, who would buy expensive goods when there are better and cheaper ones on the market? The answer is – those who have to. When it comes to weapons export, the US is still No 1 because NATO countries are “obligated” to buy its products. Being the first NATO country to buy a Russian air-defense system, Turkey began a trend that could seriously disrupt the US economy.