Deliveries of the second division of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Turkey will begin on August 27. On Monday, July 26, said Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar.
“The process of transporting and delivering a second S-400 battery to Turkey will begin tomorrow (starting from Tuesday, August 27 - RT ),” Anadolu quoted Akar as saying.
The first phase of S-400 shipments ended on July 25, according to the Turkish Ministry of Defense. The ministry noted that 30 aircraft delivered components of the systems of the first batch of air defense systems to Ankara's Myurt airbase.
Deliveries began on July 12th. In total, under the contract concluded between Russia and Turkey in 2017, Moscow will supply Turkey with four divisions of S-400 units.
Turkey’s purchase of Russian complexes provoked a sharp reaction in the United States. The United States demanded to abandon the deal, offering in exchange to acquire the American Patriot air defense system. The United States also expelled Turkey from the F-35 fighter program. According to White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham, a fighter cannot be armed with a system that "will be used to explore its advanced capabilities."
Later, when the supplies of the first batch of S-400 to Turkey were already completed, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that in the USA they would not like to see the deployment of complexes in a fighting situation on the territory of the country.
“Perhaps more sanctions will follow, but frankly, we would prefer that the S-400 were not put into operation,” he said.
Recall that in response to threats of expulsion from the F-35 program, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke about the possibility of countermeasures from Turkey.
- © Vitaly Nevar
“If the US applies sanctions, we will give the necessary answer. A step can be taken with respect to the Incirlik air base. This is not a threat or blackmail, but a natural position in these conditions, ”he said.
At this stage, the United States is unlikely to somehow change Turkey’s decision regarding the S-400, correspondent of the Academy of Military Sciences Sergey Sudakov told RT.
“Now the United States has perfectly understood that it is useless to influence Turkey from the point of view of stopping the caravan that has already started,” he notes.
In addition, sanctions against Turkey must be introduced very carefully so as not to ruin working relations with Turkey, the expert said. Therefore, according to him, the restrictions, if they are imposed, will not be too stringent.
“I believe that there will be sanctions, but not the most serious ones: these will be economic sanctions on a certain range of goods, but nothing more. Given the flow of goods that passes through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, it is now impossible to somehow influence Turkey strongly, ”Sudakov said.
Continuation of cooperation
Cooperation between Russia and Turkey may continue further. On August 26, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to comment on possible purchases of Su-35 multi-role fighters in exchange for the American F-35s.
Nevertheless, he pointed out that on August 27, the presidents of Turkey and Russia will meet "on the sidelines" of the MAKS international aerospace salon.
“Tomorrow they (Su-35 - RT ) will be right on the MAKS, everything is concentrated right there,” TASS reports Peskov.
Earlier, Turkish media reported on Turkey's interest in Russian fighters. The head of Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, in turn, said that Russia is ready to supply combat vehicles to Turkey if Ankara shows interest in them.
- Aircraft Su-35
- © Evgeny Odinokov
This option will be successful for Turkey, said Sergey Sudakov. According to him, fighters will be able to effectively interact with the S-400, in addition, they will cost much cheaper than their American counterparts.
“America’s task was to supply Turkey and the whole world with the largest possible number of F-35s, its cheapest version costs $ 89 million, more or less a good option - $ 111-115 million apiece. Our planes are good enough, but in terms of price and quality, this is the best that is today, ”the expert notes.
In addition, Turkey may well purchase other weapons systems from Russia, says Alexei Podberezkin, director of the Center for Military-Political Research at MGIMO. Among them, he calls the latest S-500 complex.
“The S-500 is qualitatively different from the S-400 in that it can also shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles and satellites that are in low orbits. There is still enormous potential, as the world's best short-range air defense systems are Tor and Buk. This efficiency is not achievable for other systems. I think this is a subject for discussion, ”a specialist told RT.
Turkey may also engage in joint production of hypersonic systems with Russia, Podberezkin added.
Earlier, he spoke about such an opportunity, commenting on the supply of S-400 to Russia, and the Turkish President himself, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“We are becoming one of the few countries with the latest air defense systems. The goal is their production together with the Russian Federation, and we will do it, ”said the Turkish leader.
Note that Turkey became the third country, after Belarus and China, where Russia began to supply S-400 systems. India was also interested in the installations, they announced their desire to acquire air defense systems in New Delhi in 2015. An agreement on the supply of complexes was signed a few years after that.
“The contract was signed on October 5, 2018 for the supply of the S-400 system from Russia. Deliveries are likely to be made by April 2023, ”said Indian Minister of Defense Sripad Naik in July 2019.