Russia eyeing contract with Turkey for next batch of S-400s: Informed source

Russian S-400 Triumph medium- and long-range surface-to-air missile systems ride through Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Russian S-400 Triumph medium- and long-range surface-to-air missile systems ride through Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Russia is considering signing a contract with Turkey to provide the NATO military alliance member with another batch of advanced S-400 missile defense systems, a government source has revealed.

Much to the disappointment of its Western allies, Ankara decided to push ahead with a $2.5 billion deal with Moscow last year to purchase four batteries of the cutting-edge anti-aircraft system.

A Russian military diplomatic source told the TASS news agency Wednesday that while the first batch was already being delivered, the two sides were already in talks for the second batch’s delivery.

“After the delivery of the first batch concludes in May or June 2020, the parties plan to sign a new contract on the delivery of the second batch of the S-400 systems in 2021. The list of supplies will be similar to the one included in the first contract,” the source said.

According to the source, the second contract would address Turkey’s demands for technology transfer.

Apparently, Russia has agreed to allow some Turkish companies produce certain components of the S-400 systems, which the source said “are not of crucial importance.”

Sergei Chemezov, the head of Russian conglomerate Rostec, said in December that Turkey would pay 45 percent of the cost in advance while Russia would provide loans to cover the remaining 55 percent.

The system, which entered service in 2007, is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles 400 km away and can simultaneously track 300 targets at a maximum altitude of 30 km. The S-400’s missiles can also be used against ground targets.

In April, Russian Aerospace Force Deputy Commander-in-Chief Viktor Gumyonny said Russia had started to equip the system with missiles capable of destroying targets in outer space.

There is growing international interest in S-400 systems and China, Saudi Arabia and India have been named as the next buyers.

Belarus, Vietnam, Egypt, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Syria, Sudan and a number of other countries have also expressed interest.

Leave a Reply