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Turkey is interested in the S-400 long-range SAM system
September 21, 2019
S-400. Photo credit: Wikipedia

Turkey is interested in the S-400 long-range SAM system

Turkey’s Minister of Defence Fikri Işık told the Turkish broadcaster NTV that the Turkish government is in talks with Moscow for the S-400 Triumf long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system (TASS).

Mr. Işık told NTV that Ankara is “conducting talks with Russia … [and] Russia’s stance is positive.” Işık noted that Turkey will still be seeking to develop and produce its own long-range SAM system, echoing the head of the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) Dr. İsmail Demir from earlier.

Notes & Comments:

The S-400’s forthcoming customer base (in addition to Russia) will comprise of China and India, and with the S-400 being among Russia’s top big-ticket items, Moscow is certainly interested in expanding the SAM system’s customer base. However, it is unclear if a sale to Turkey would transpire, especially since there will likely be sensitivities (to technology leaks and interoperability risks) from both NATO and Russia.

Turkey could be interested in sourcing Russian expertise directly, irrespective of the S-400. In this respect, Russia could assist Turkey with the latter’s indigenous long-range SAM program, especially in areas such as propulsion and aerodynamics.