Russia and Turkey are likely to sign a contract for an additional batch of Triumph S-400 air defense systems, Dmitry Shugaev, director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said.
“The probability is quite high,” he said, answering whether such a contract could be signed in 2020.
“We are systematically working on this issue. The most important thing is that there is willingness on both sides to continue cooperation in this area,” said Shugaev.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov and the head of Rosoboronexport, Alexander Mikheev, announced a possible purchase by Turkey of an additional batch of S-400.
On October 23rd, Rosoboronexport announced that Russia had fulfilled this contract ahead of schedule by supplying Turkey with all elements of the S-400 systems, including missiles.
In early November, Ismail Demir, the head of Turkey’s Defence Industry Directorate, said that there is interest to purchase a 2nd batch of S-400 missile defense systems from Russia, but it was not certain the contract would be concluded in 2020.
“We are planning a timeline for next year. As opposed to the first (batch), there is joint production and technology transfer here. It is beyond the ‘let’s buy it quickly and install it’ of the first system,” Demir said.
“The joint production concept may move the timeline. We have some sensitivities regarding some of the production being here. Technical work continues,” he said.
Demir further said that Russia had offered to sell Turkey its Su-35 fighter jets.
“There is an offer and we are evaluating it. There cannot be such a thing as ‘we’re buying tomorrow’ in such matters. The offer’s financial and strategic aspects will be examined, there cannot be an immediate decision,” Demir said.
“It would not be right to say ‘the F-35 era is closed, the Su-35 era is beginning’, but we will evaluate the offer,” he said.
The US continues to threaten sanctions due to the purchase and impending activation of the S-400 missile defense system, especially after it successfully passed its tests in Turkey.
Regardless, Turkey appears unrelenting and set on using the system it paid upwards of $2 billion for.
Furthermore, as part of his visit to Italy to attend the 5th MED 2019-Mediterranean Forum from December 5th – 7th, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke to media and said that NATO had nothing to say regarding Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 missile defense system, the only ones against it were the US.
“The U.S. criticized us, however, NATO did not say anything. On the contrary, NATO secretary-general [Jens Stoltenberg] repeatedly stated all countries have the right to buy the weapon and defense system it wants,” he said.
Interest in Russia’s system is growing, as Serbia also expressed interest in purchasing it in early November. In addition, some US allies, in addition to Turkey, are also showing interest, such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
In late November, India made the advance payment for the purchase of Russian S-400, and the threat of US sanctions did little to dissuade New Delhi.
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