In recent weeks, Turkey appears to have been showing interest in the purchase of Russian Su-35 and Su-57 fighter jets.
These were further reinforced at the Army-2020 forum in Moscow.
In 2019, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey may buy Russian-made Su-35 and Su-57 fighter jets instead of US-made F-35 fighters.
The Turkish president at the time said that the decision was made after he learned the final US word on Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program during a phone conversation with US President Donald Trump. Ankara was booted out of the F-35 program due to its purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system. Turkey has since signed a contract for the delivery of a second system.
The US said the “F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence-collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities”. The US maintains that the S-400 is not compatible with NATO systems and threatens the stealth capabilities of the new fighter jets.
“Turkey has hinted, on various occasions, that it would look to Russia,” for new fighter jets, said Aaron Stein, the Director of Research at the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Middle East Program. “The Russians have said that there have been preliminary talks for the Su-35, but those talks do not appear to have ever been advanced, nor do they appear to be active at this moment.”
This is mostly needed since Turkey reportedly is concerned with the escalating situation in the East Mediterranean, with Greece, France, Cyprus and Egypt strongly opposing its drilling ambitions in the area.
Reportedly, After Athens began negotiations with Paris on the acquisition of Rafale fighters for the Greek Air Force, Ankara decided to urgently acquire Russian multipurpose Su-35 of the 4 ++ generation, writes the Greek edition of Pentapostagma.
According to the adviser to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, professor at Bahcesehir University, expert Abdullah Agar Turkey may simply move forward and purchase Russian fighter jets.
He believes that after the purchase of the S-400 by Turkey, there is a high probability that Ankara will take the next step and purchase from Moscow Su-35, even from those available from the Russian Air Force. The Turks are no longer interested in the fifth generation F-35. This is because Turkey simply will not be able to use them because of the US restrictions imposed on them. Washington is unlikely to allow Ankara to use the F-35 against NATO allies.
Agar stressed that Turkish President Recep Erdogan had virtually no choice left. But, despite the differences, Ankara is not going to leave NATO. And if the Turks buy not only the Su-35, but even the Su-57, this will not have a dramatic effect on relations with the United States. And the Americans already know that the Turks are going to buy 40 Su-35s.
At the same time, Russian expert Alexander Sitnikov has no doubts that Ankara needs the Su-35 for a “gas war” with Greece and Egypt. Additionally, presence of such a number of Su-35s will not make them dominant in the Turkish Air Force, which are armed with 240 F-16s.
He is confident that an economic catastrophe is impending in Turkey, so the authorities want to avoid this at the expense of other countries, taking their deposits with raw materials. In addition, Erdogan is being pushed by Turkish nationalists who dream of a “great empire.” As a result, Erdogan’s aggressive rhetoric is already causing outright irritation, and sometimes anger, in half of the planet.
MORE ON THE TOPIC: