Turkey, Russia ‘in talks on joint production of S-400’

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The delivery of the second batch of the Russian S-400 missile defense systems to Turkey may be delayed beyond 2020, the planned timeline, due to talks on technology sharing and joint production, the head of the country’s Presidency of Defence Industries said on Nov. 4.

Turkey’s procurement of the first batch of S-400 system was for a finished product, but Ankara wants the second system as co-production and with transfer technology, Demir told NTV private broadcaster.

“Common production concepts can play the calendar. We have some sensitivities that some productions have to be done here. Technical studies are in progress,” he stated.

Russia had offered to sell Turkey its SU-35 fighter jets and that Turkey was evaluating the offer, he also said. Ankara makes “comprehensive analysis” on the financial and strategic dimensions” of such a procurement, he added.

“There is an offer and we are evaluating it. There cannot be such a thing as ‘we’re buying tomorrow’ in such matters. The offer’s financial and strategic aspects will be examined, there cannot be an immediate decision,” Demir said.

“It would not be right to say, ‘the F-35 era is closed, the Su-35 era is beginning,’ but we will evaluate the offer,” he said.

Turkey signed a contract with Russia in April 2017 to procure the S-400 systems. Turkey on July 12 received the first shipment of the Russian S-400 air defense systems. Since then, cargo flights from Russia have been arriving on Mürted Air Base in the capital Ankara. The delivery of the first systems was completed between July 12 and July 25.

The total deployment would finalize around April 2020, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had earlier said.

Tensions between the United States and Turkey have escalated ever since over the deal, as Washington claimed that the S-400 system would be incompatible with the NATO system and may expose its confidential military information to Russia.

Washington suspended Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program as Ankara went ahead with the delivery of the S-400s.

Turkey is expected to be fully removed from the F-35 program “about a year from now as we work through the production, sustainment and follow-on development memorandum of understanding, which is the over-arching document for the partnership,” Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s procurement chief, said on Aug. 27.

Asked about alternative cooperation with other countries for the new generation fighter jets, Demir said Turkey is in talks with four-five countries.

Turkey conducted a successful test-fire of the country’s first indigenously developed sea-launched cruise missile, Demir also said.

Atmaca was launched from the TCG Kınalıada warship, the fourth Ada-class anti-submarine warfare corvette manufactured under the Turkish national warship program, said Demir.

Manufactured by missile producer Roketsan, Atmaca is expected to enter the Turkish military’s inventory in the second half of 2020.

Hurriyet Daily News

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