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Erdogan announces that S-400 deal is “inked”
September 22, 2018
S-400. Photo credit: Wikipedia

Erdogan announces that S-400 deal is “inked”

Speaking to fellow Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers on July 25, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the agreements involving the sale of Almaz-Antey S-400 surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems have been “inked.”

“We have now taken steps with Russia about this issue. Deals have been inked. In God’s will, we will see S-400 missiles in our country and precede the process with joint production,” Erdogan said to the AKP.

Earlier in July, Bloomberg reported that Ankara agreed to a $2.5 billion U.S. deal with Moscow for four S-400 systems, of which two would be produced in Turkey. Prior to that Russian officials stated that the deal was nearing completion, with the two sides still negotiating on financing.

On July 14, Aselsan, Roketsan and Eurosam – a French-Italian consortium responsible for developing and producing the MBDA S-400 SAMP/T (Surface-to-Air Missile Platform/Terrain) SAM system – signed a deal to collaborate to develop Turkey’s homegrown long-range SAM system.

Erdogan’s recent statements confirm that the S-400 and Turkey-Eurosam programs are parallel initiatives, with the S-400 being sought for near-term procurement.

Following the collapse of its deal with Beijing for HQ-9s, the Turkish Undersecretariat of Defence Industries (SSM) commissioned Aselsan and Roketsan to manage the development of a domestic long-range SAM while the SSK and Turkish Ministry of Defence began talks with overseas vendors.

In November, the head of the SSM Dr. İsmail Demir stated (via the Daily Sabah) that it would “take five to seven years to conclude the [domestic SAM] project.”

The Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf utilizes four anti-air missiles: 40N6 (400 km), 48N6 (250 km), 9M96E2 (120 km) and 9M96E (40 km). Collectively, these missiles position the S-400 as a multi-layered system capable of engaging targets at long-range and short-range as well as high-altitude and low-altitude.

Turkey is poised to be the third S-400 customer following China and India, which have ordered their S-400 systems in 2015 and 2016, respectively.