Turkey and Russia had agreed on the procurement of two batches of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems as part of a deal, but talks on technology transfer extended the delivery time for the second system, Defense Industries Presidency (SSB) head İsmail Demir told state-run broadcaster TRT on April 26.
Reminding that the first S-400 batch was received, Demir noted that the purchase of the second system was spread over time within the framework of the agreement.
Turkey could have received the second batch of the Russian systems at the initial stage, but the procurement needs technology transfer, he said, adding that the delivery “extended over time” as the negotiations on the transfer of technology take time.
The official underlined there was a misperception that Turkey was obstinate with the United States on purchasing the Russian system. Demir said Ankara only keeps up a deal made with Russia.
“The purchase of the second batch, which was planned from the beginning, is in question. It is not the case that Turkey is obstinate with buying the second system, no matter what America says. “Turkey continues to implement the same decision it has made from the beginning,” he said.
The Turkish government had to buy the S-400s after its demand for the purchase of the Patriot system was rejected by the U.S., Ankara says.
Turkey deployed the first batch of the Russian air defense systems in mid-2019, which triggered sanctions from the U.S. It was excluded from the F-35 joint fighter program, and five aircrafts Turkey has paid for have not been delivered. The Russian system can harm the NATO alliance through its ability to detect detailed information about F-35 jets, the U.S. claims.
Turkey says it paid $1.4 billion for five planes and asks the U.S. to reimburse the money after it was formally excluded from the program on Sept. 23, 2021. Ankara proposed Washington purchase 40 new F-16 jet fighters and around 80 modernization kits in a bid to keep its air fleet intact in return for the money paid for F-35 fighter jets.
Hurriyet Daily News