Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Turkey has ordered 117 air-to-air Sidewinder missiles from the U.S., the Defense Department’s Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) revealed on Monday.
In its notice to Congress, the agency said the order worth $140 million includes associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support. Congress has 15 days to reject the arms sales. Otherwise, DSCA will proceed with the sale to the NATO ally.
The DSCA said it is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist Turkey in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability to help the U.S. the US in ensuring peace and stability in the region. It added that the missiles will allow Turkey’s military to be interoperable with U.S. and NATO members.
Meanwhile, Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has introduced a bill giving two guided missile-firing naval vessels to Turkey.
The bill introduced on Dec. 11 specifically identifies the U.S. Navy’s USS Halyburton and USS Thach as the warships to be given. But the Washington-based Hellenic-American Leadership Council is opposing the bill because of Turkey’s dispute with Greek Cyprus and Israel.
The same bill also seeks to give other naval ships to Mexico and Thailand.