NATO member Turkey’s selection of Chinese missiles in late September to meet its long-standing requirement of long-range air and missile defense systems over rival US and European bidders continues to be a point of tension with the alliance, which raised its objection to the Turkish choice on the grounds that these systems would neither be compatible nor interoperable with that of the alliance air defense network, hence causing weakness in Turkish security as well.

It is, however, not only NATO in general and the US in particular who have voiced their unease over Turkey opting for Chinese missiles but also the Turkish military, which is allegedly very unhappy that it might finally acquire “second-hand, not battle-tested and cheap Chinese missiles,” as opposed to US-made Patriot missile systems. After all, this is the Turkish military, which has highly advanced jet fighters such as US F-16s in its inventory, while its country is a partner to the US-led Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) new generation aircraft, of which it plans to buy 100.

The Turkish military is reportedly also mad at the US because its companies were not encouraged to offer more high-technology transfers to Turkey to undercut other bidders, i.e., China and an Italian-French consortium, whose missiles are not battle-tested either.