Washington: The Pentagon has told US lawmakers it is ready to sell Turkey a 7.8-billion-dollar Patriot missile system, a move designed to bolster its only NATO ally which borders Iran.
The sale would include 13 “fire units,” 72 PAC-3 interceptor missiles and a host of related hardware, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress in a document obtained Monday by AFP.
Turkey, a long-time US ally, is the only NATO member to have a land border with Iran.
The Pentagon agency said the sale was essential for Turkey to maintain “a strong and ready self-defense capability that will contribute to an acceptable military balance in the area.
“Turkey will use the PAC-3 missiles to improve its missile defense capability, strengthen its homeland defense, and deter regional threats.”
The notification comes as tensions soar between the United States and Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, which Washington suspects is bid to obtain a nuclear bomb.
Iran has refused to suspend uranium enrichment despite five UN Security Council resolutions calling on it to do so.