The command of the Russian S-400 defense systems will entirely be in the hands of Turkey and nothing will be done against the country’s authority, the head of Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) said Wednesday.
Ismail Demir said that the U.S. has provided no technical explanation to support the argument that the S-400 defense system and F-35 fighter jets cannot work together, criticizing once again the U.S. decision of suspending Turkey from the fighter jets’ program.
“We think that the rationality of this decision will be questioned not only by the U.S. but also by other partners,” said Demir, noting that the U.S.’s decision is far from being rational.
Washington has previously said it was suspending Turkey from the F-35 jet program over its purchase of Russian S-400 defense systems. Ankara had ordered more than 100 of the stealth fighters and Turkish defense companies were also involved in building the jets, manufacturing some of the critical components for the aircraft.
Demir stressed that they have also been working on air missile defense systems that would be equivalent to S-400s with better features, noting that domestically developed HISAR defense missile series and Siper air defense system will begin to be delivered gradually starting in 2021.
The domestic defense missile systems for low altitude (Hisar-A, 15 km) and medium-altitude (Hisar-O, 25 km) were produced by Turkish defense contractors Roketsan and Aselsan.
HISAR missiles are defense weapons developed to protect military bases, ports, facilities, and troops against air-based threats as well as to meet the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces for a low- and medium-altitude air defense security system.
In this context, HISAR’s radar, command and control, and fire control systems were developed by Aselsan, while Roketsan was responsible for the development of the missile system.
HISAR systems are effective against aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and air-to-ground missiles.
The project for Siper, country’s first domestically produced long-range air defense missile system was also initiated by the Defense Industry Presidency and has been carried out in cooperation with SAGE, ASELSAN, and ROKETSAN