The Russian Presidential Aide Vladimir Kozhin confirmed that Russia has received Turkey’s deposit for S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems.
“The contract has entered into force, the advance payment has been made, I cannot say about the timeframe now,” said Kozhin (via Russian News Agency TASS).
Contrary to earlier reports, Kozhin also clarified that the issue of transfer-of-technology was not discussed between Turkey and Russia. Rather, the focus has been purely on the supply of the SAM system.
In September, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that Moscow received Ankara’s deposit for the S-400. The two sides agreed to a $2.5 billion U.S. deal for four S-400 systems in July, following nine months of negotiations since Turkey expressed interest in the S-400.
Though Kozhin could not provide a delivery timeline, the Undersecretary for Defence Industries (SSM) İsmail Demir stated that it would require “a minimum of two years” (Daily Sabah).
The S-400 is a multi-layered air defence system, but its marque munition is the 40N6, which provides an engagement range of up to 400 km. The 40N6 is complemented by the 48N6, 9M96E2 and 9M96E, which have ranges of 250 km, 120 km and 60 km, respectively.
Turkey’s SSM is also pursuing a domestically built long-range SAM system. In July, the Turkish companies Aselsan and Roketsan signed a “Heads of Agreement” (HoA) with Eurosam, a French-Italian consortium offering the Aster 30-based SAMP/T (Surface-to-Air Missile Platform/Terrain).
The domestic program was activated in lieu of the Chinese HQ-9/FD-2000, which Ankara had to walk away from in 2015 following pressure from NATO. Eurosam had competed with the MEADS (Medium Extended Air Defence System) offered by a joint-U.S., German and Italian consortium.
Besides providing Turkey with a NATO-compliant air defence solution on land, the Turkish-European SAM may also serve the forthcoming TF-2000 anti-air warfare (AAW) frigate.
I still doubt about HQ9 and it’s capabilities. Not just Turkey but also Uzbekistan and Tajikistan rejected it when it was offered for free in return of gas pipeline to China. Moreover China is planning to replace HQ9 with S400 systems. Looks doubtful, but seems like Turkey made a good choice after all.