Ankara has expressed interest in purchasing the S-400 Triumf mobile surface-to-air missile systems from Russia to develop its own air defense system, Turkish MP Ahmet Berat Conkar of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) told Sputnik Turkey.
Turkey “aims to develop defense systems of this type primarily by itself. We need technology exchange and joint production. These issues are important to Turkey,” he said, adding that Ankara needs to purchase the new weapons at the best price possible.
“Steps aimed at increasing capabilities and boosting the defense budget, a hot topic for NATO members at the moment, have already been taken. I consider the measures adopted by Turkey as appropriate. After all, some NATO members use Russian-made armaments,” the MP added. “I don’t think that there will be any issues.”Ahmet Berat Conkar further noted that Ankara needs to buy a missile defense complex to “develop its own anti-ballistic missile defense system.”
A recent rapprochement between Ankara and Moscow has apparently had a positive effect on the S-400 talks.
“Agreements reached during talks between [Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan] necessarily promote cooperation. We all know that this is one of the topics discussed at the highest level. In this respect we will work together with all of our partners, including Russia to purchase systems which Turkey requires at the best price,” he said.
Turkey has become the latest country interested in purchasing the S-400. On Monday, Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov said that Russia and Ankara are discussing a possible S-400 deal, with both sides currently focused on the financial aspect of the agreement. A day later, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the talks were “successfully moving forward.”
The S-400 Triumf, which NATO refers to as SA-21 Growler, was developed by the Almaz-Antey defense contractor and manufactured by the Fakel Machine-Building Design Bureau. It is capable of intercepting all types of modern air weaponry, including fifth-generation warplanes, as well as ballistic and cruise missiles at a maximum range of nearly 250 miles.The S-400, estimated to cost $400 million per unit, has been in service since April 2007.
Russia is reported to have reached an agreement to deploy the S-400 to China and India. Other potential buyers include Armenia, Belarus, Egypt, Iran, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.