The Turkish government is reportedly nearing a final decision towards purchasing Almaz-Antey S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems from Russia.
As per Turkey’s state-owned news agency Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s defence minister Fikri Işık was quoted saying, “We are at the final stages of deciding on this [S-400].” Işık noted that Turkey’s requirement for a long-range SAM system was ‘urgent.’
Turkey reportedly began pursuing the S-400 in November. In February, it began talks with Russia for the system and had seemed to reach a favourable point in March when Ankara, as per Rostec’s CEO Sergey Chemezov, requested a loan from the Russian government to help back the deal.
Although it is seeking the S-400, Turkey is also maintaining a domestic long-range SAM program, which Işık stated would enter production “within five-to-seven years.”
Thus far, Russia sold S-400 systems to China and India.