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Turkey Seeks S-400 Anti-Air Missiles From Russia
DefenseTech, May 11 2017

Turkey and Russia are haggling over the price for Turkey’s purchase of advanced long-range S-400 anti-air missiles, billed as F-35 killers by Moscow. Putin and Erdogan agreed on the outlines of an S-400 deal in May 3 meetings in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi. Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said Wednesday, according to Hurriyet:

Now we have intensified the talks on some technical details and prices. As soon as the price issue is settled, our heads, the president and the prime minister, will make a final decision.

The S-400 deal is expected to be a main topic of talks at the White House next Tuesday between Erdogan and Trump. Pindostan has generally been opposed to NATO vassals such as Turkey acquiring systems that do not mesh with NATO’s common defense systems. Isik appeared to brush aside the complaint, saying that NATO has ignored Turkey’s need to upgrade its air defenses. He said:

The Pindosis don’t agree to the transfer of technologies in the sphere of air defense systems to us. They do not make price concessions. Then they criticize us when we look for alternatives and hold negotiations with other countries.

The S-400 system costs about $400m for a squadron consisting of eight launchers with 14 missiles each. Russia claims that the S-400 is effective against stealth aircraft such as the F-35. Russia deployed S-400 batteries to the Khmeimim Air Base near Latakia in north-western Syria after a Turkish F-16C shot down a Russian Su-24M in Nov 2015 near the Turkey-Syria border. On paper, the S-400 system radars can track targets out to 370 miles and fire missiles traveling at 10,500 mph to hit enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges up to 250 miles. Russia, which boasts that the S-400 can engage 36 targets simultaneously, put the S-400 system on display at the annual Victory Day Parade in Moscow on Tuesday. Turkey would be the third foreign buyer of the S-400. Last year, China and India agreed to terms on buying S-400 defense systems.

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