The US has found another way to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses. However, Türkiye does not want it so much.
Here’s What We Know
The United States has sent the S-400 (SA-21 Growler coded by NATO) to Turkey to send the land to the air rocket system for Ukraine. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Turkey rejected the idea because it violates the sovereignty and independence of the country.
The purchase of the SA-21 “Growler” cost Turkey a lot of money. The deal cost $2.5 billion, but in this case it’s not about the price, but what Ankara has lost. The US has repeatedly tried to persuade Turkey to give up the Russian air defense system, saying it threatens national security.
In the summer of 2019, the US authorities announced that the Russian surface-to-air missile system is incompatible with other NATO defense systems and poses a threat to the security of allied countries. The decision to purchase the SA-21 Growler left Turkey without the fifth-generation fighter, the F-35 Lightning II. Ankara, which is part of the F-35 Development Program Office, wants to order 100 of the planes.
NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Todd Walters speaks at the 2019 NATO Security Forum in Bratislava. He said the alliance was not interested in sharing fifth-generation aircraft capabilities with Russia. The US Department of Defense is concerned that if Turkey orders the SA-21 Growler, the Russian military will gain access to the F-35 and may learn about the weaknesses of the fifth-generation fighter. This would endanger the safety of American pilots. As a result, Turkey has been excluded from the F-35 program and for years has been unable to negotiate a $20 billion purchase of upgraded fourth-generation F-16 Viper Block 70/72 fighters.