Turkey has agreed in principle with Russia to procure a second batch of S-400 air defence systems, Ismail Demir, head of the Turkish Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), told the local NTV news channel on 8 June. This will include a road map for achieving joint production and technology transfer to Turkey.
Turkey received a loan from Russia to partially finance the $2.5 billion purchase of the S-400 system of ground-to-air armaments. An agreement was signed in December 2017 and the first “Triumf” missiles and missile launchers arrived in Turkey in July 2019.
Turkey has agreed in principle with Russia to procure a second batch of S-400 air defence systems following the first batch delivered in 2019.
“These issues require detailed and important technical work that should be agreed by the two sides. In this respect, it is more important to us what our gains are and will be, and achieving [joint production and technology transfer],” he stressed.
Asked by CNN Türk on 3 June about Russia’s reaction to Turkey not activating the first batch of S-400s delivered by Russia in 2019 in April due to technical defects, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Alexei Yerhov said the decision was up to Turkey as the owner of the system. Recalling Yerhov’s remarks, Demir said, “A new system is bought to be used,” adding that the Ministry of National Defence as the operator of the S-400s has been performing the necessary work on the systems.
Referring to Turkey’s removal from the Joint Strike Fighter programme in response to its S-400 purchase, Demir said developments on the F-35 had prompted the SSB to plan to deliver the National Combat Aircraft (MMU) Turkish Fighter Experimental (TF-X) in blocks, which he first revealed during an online panel discussion organised by the Istanbul-based Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) on 28 May.
Meanwhile, US Senate authorizes Defense Department to modify six Lockheed Martin F-35A originally sold to Turkey,– integrating them into US Air Force.
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