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Turkey and Russia in final stages of S-400 SAM talks
December 16, 2018
S-400. Photo credit: Wikipedia

Turkey and Russia in final stages of S-400 SAM talks

In a press conference with Turkish journalists at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russian President outlined that negotiations regarding the sale of Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems are in their final stages.

Responding to questions about Turkey’s co-production requirements, Putin stated (via Anadolu Agency) that the process “requires great preparation in terms of technology and training staff.”

Ankara began speaking to Moscow about the S-400 in February, following a thaw in relations between the two countries from a spike in tension following the downing of a Russian Su-24 by the Turkish Air Force.

In March, Rostec (the industry organization representing Russia’s state-owned companies) CEO Sergey Chemezov revealed that the Russian Ministry of Finance was in talks with the Turkish government on the latter’s request for a loan to finance the possible deal.

In parallel, the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) commissioned the development of a homegrown long-range SAM system. Although S-400 talks are progressing, the head of SSM, Dr. Ismail Demir, stated that “people should follow is the future and duration of our [homegrown] national system.”

Besides the off-the-shelf purchase of S-400 SAM systems, Turkey may also seek Russia’s technical support for its national SAM program. There is precedent for this in that Almaz-Antey assisted South Korea in its development of the Cheongung (Iron Hawk).

The S-400 has a maximum engagement range of 400 km (via the 4096 missile). However, it can also deploy the 48N6, 9M96E2 and 9M96E, which afford 250 km, 120 km and 40 km in range, respectively. Its primary sensor suite comprises of the 92N6E Grave Stone radar, which is capable of tracking 100 targets and can simultaneously engage six. China and India have S-400 systems on order from Russia.