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Thursday 11 April 2019

Turkey May Buy more S-400s

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MOSCOW (Kommersant / TASS) — Russian industry has all the necessary capacities to meet Ankara’s request for the S-400 air defence systems, Kommersant’s sources said in the wake of remarks by top Turkish diplomat Mevlut Cavusoglu who said that his country could purchase an additional batch of S-400s and, possibly, Russian-made fighter jets. According to Kommersant’s experts, the key condition is Turkey’s political will.

Today, Moscow and Ankara have one arms contract providing for the supplies of four S-400 battalions to Turkey in the summer of 2019. The deal, which includes the delivery of various components, 40N6 missiles and the training of Turkish personnel, is estimated at $2.5 bln, with 55% of its cost covered by a Russian loan. That factor made it possible for Russian negotiators to tilt the balance in their favour, a defence industry source told the paper. He explained that the Americans “twisted Turkey’s arm”, threatening Ankara that it would only get the Patriot air defence systems if it made an advance payment.

According to the information obtained by Kommersant, currently there are no steady agreements concerning the delivery of additional S-400 systems. The issue at hand is Turkey’s push for the partial localization of certain S-400 components on its soil.

Against the backdrop of Washington’s preconditions for the purchase of US-made F-35 jets, Turkish specialists have already shown interest in Russia’s Sukhoi Su-35 fighters, according to Kommersant’s source in the defence industry. “If the Turkish leadership gives the go-ahead, Russian negotiators will be able to come up with a purchase proposal within a short period of time, which, by contrast with the initiatives put forward by our Western counterparts, will not be affected by any short-term considerations”, he said.

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