Turkey S-400 Dilemma

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Turkey to store Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems in Azerbaijan and Qatar


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Turkey may temporarily store Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems in Azerbaijan, Trend reports referring to Turkish media. It is possible that the missile systems will be also sent to Qatar for a temporary storage.

According to the media sources, Turkey has not decided yet in which country Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems can be temporarily stored.

On April 11, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that specialists from the US and NATO could come to Turkey to make sure that the Russian S-400 air defense systems do not pose a threat to NATO. He noted that Turkey is in dire need of the S-400 air defense system.

"Although the US urges Turkey to abandon the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense missile systems, it does not guarantee that it will sell us Patriot air defense systems," Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that the US believes that Turkey will not be able to have both American F-35 fighter-bombers and Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems at the same time, as this is technically impossible. “According to Pentagon sources, is not possible to launch the F-35 in the space where the S-400 is operated,” he said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey may receive the S-400 missile systems earlier than scheduled. According to him, it was expected that Turkey would receive the first supplies of S-400 missile systems in July 2019.

He noted that despite appeals from the US, Turkey will not abandon the purchase of the S-400. "This issue has been already resolved by Turkey," said Erdogan.

 

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Russia would be Turkey’s ‘first best choice’ for fighter jets if its F-35 plan flops
By: Burak Ege Bekdil   19.04.2019

As part of an ongoing spat between the U.S. and Turkey, parts deliveries for the F-35 have stopped.

ANKARA, Turkey — If U.S. officials were to expel Turkey from the multinational group that builds the F-35 Lightning II, Turkish defense officials said they likely would pursue Russian fighter jet technology.

“We cannot afford to leave the F-35 not substituted,” a senior military officer told Defense news. He declined to comment on the replacement options, as this would require “technological, economical and political deliberations.”

But a defense procurement official said “geostrategic assessment” would make Russian options emerge as the natural first replacement. “Russian fighter technology would the first best choice if our American allies behaved in an un-allied way and questioned Turkey’s membership in the Joint Strike Fighter program,” he said.

Washington has threatened to expel Ankara from the multinational program if Turkey deploys the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile system on its soil.

If Turkey accepts the S-400, “no F-35s will ever reach Turkish soil. And Turkish participation in the F-35 program, including manufacturing parts, repairing and servicing the fighters, will be terminated, taking Turkish companies out of the manufacturing and supply chain for the program,” wrote a group of bipartisan lawmakers from the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon announced a freeze on deliveries and activities with Turkey in relation to the F-35 program over Ankara’s decision to buy the S-400. Turkey insists the first S-400 shipments would arrive in July and the first S-400 system would become operational in September.

A Turkish presidential source said that potential Turkish-Russian cooperation on fighter technology was “preliminarily discussed” between their respective defense officials during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Moscow on April 8.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu told broadcaster NTV on Apri 10: “There are F-35, but there are also aircraft manufactured in Russia. If we are not able to purchase [the] F-35, Turkey will buy similar aircraft from other countries. And this will continue until we start producing our own fifth-generation fighter jets.”

Such a move would make Turkey the only NATO member to simultaneously use the S-400 and Russian fighter.

“This is not a useful dispute for the alliance,” asserted an Ankara-based European Union military attache. “What we observe today could push Turkey further into Russia’s military orbit … and we don’t want that.”

Earlier this month, Russian Helicopters CEO Andrey Boginsky visited Turkey to discuss the possibility of co-production efforts.

However, Russia’s isn’t the only alternative for the F-35. In 2015, Turkey’s procurement authorities released a request for information for the TF-X, the country’s indigenous fighter jet program. Sweden’s Saab was one of the bidders to supply know-how for the initial design phase of the program, but Ankara selected Britain’s BAE Systems for that contract.

“Saab’s commitment to technology transfer was very generous, but its price was expensive at the time,” a Turkish official recalled. “Saab could now revise its bid and incorporate it into the new [no F-35] situation,” he said.

Another option for Turkey is Airbus, a partner in the Eurofighter program based in the Netherlands and France, the official added.

Russia would be Turkey’s ‘first best choice’ for fighter jets if its F-35 plan flops
 

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Turkey Interested in Other Russian Weaponry Apart From S-400s – Official
29.04.2019

The contract for Turkey to procure Russian air defence systems has been vehemently opposed by Washington, who is trying to convince Ankara to ditch it threatening the country with sanctions and freezing deliveries of F-35 fighters.

Head of Russian Defence Export firm (Rosoboronexport) Aleksandr Mikheev has shared that Turkey is showing interest in Russian weaponry apart from the S-400 air defence systems ordered by Ankara in December 2017. According to him, Ankara is also interested in other Russian air defences of various ranges, as well as anti-tank weaponry and other weapons stations.

Mikheev added that the two countries also have several joint ventures aimed at developing new state-of-the-art jets and helicopters, modules for armoured vehicles and maintenance for the equipment, previously sold to Ankara. He further stressed that due to the "constructive dialogue between the political leadership" of the two states, Russia and Turkey have managed to thwart foreign rivals' attempts to meddle in their bilateral military cooperation.

Rosoboronexport's CEO earlier reacted to reports that Turkey might be interested in buying Russian jets instead of American F-35s, saying that Moscow is ready to discuss such procurements with Ankara.

Turkey has been experiencing trouble in obtaining the F-35 jets it ordered since Ankara inked a contract with Moscow on the procurement of Russian S-400 air defence systems. The US authorities claim that the Russian system could gather info about the American jet and reveal its weaknesses to Moscow.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly stated that Ankara will not abandon the S-400 deal despite US pressure. He recalled that Turkey was willing to buy Patriot defence systems instead of Russian-made systems, but Washington had failed to provide a better deal than Moscow.

For its part, the US has reportedly halted all supplies of F-35-related parts to Ankara and threatened it with sanctions in case it obtains Russian S-400s. The situation has been further complicated by the fact that some of the F-35's parts are exclusively produced in Turkey, with the US reportedly considering plans to shift their production to Europe.

Turkey Interested in Other Russian Weaponry Apart From S-400s – Official
 

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Turkey won't be deterred by U.S. sanctions on missile systems purchase, VP says
By Daniel Uria
May 5, 2019

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Sunday that Turkey will not allow potential U.S. sanctions to prevent it from purchasing the S-400 missile defense system from Russia. Photo by Robert Ghement/EPA

May 5 (UPI) -- Turkey will follow through on its agreement to purchase the S-400 missile defense system from Russia despite U.S. opposition, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Sunday.

Oktay said that Turkey would not allow the threat of sanctions from the United States to prevent it from purchasing the surface-to-air missile defense system, which U.S. officials have warned aren't compatible with NATO equipment and may compromise U.S.-made Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets.

"When Turkey signs an agreement, Turkey keeps its promise. We signed this agreement and certain payments were made," Oktay told Turkish news outlet A Haber. "I don't think the arguments and concerns here have a lot to lean on."

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Turkey's Anadolu Agency that each individual nation in the transatlantic agreement is able to make its own decisions regarding defense purchases.

"Decisions about military procurement are for nations to make," he said. "But, as I have said, interoperability of our armed forces is fundamental to Nato for the conduct of our operations and missions."

Stoltenberg also said he supports discussions between Turkey and the United States about purchasing a U.S. patriot missile system and efforts by Turkey, France and Italy to develop a long-range air and missile defense system.

"This is important for NATO because key allies are involved and because we encourage allies to purchase equipment which is able to operate together," he said.

 

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Media: Turkey may cancel purchase of S-400 missile systems from Russia
May 11, 2019



The Bild newspaper, citing Turkish diplomatic circles, reported that Turkish authorities, apparently, intend to reconsider their decision to purchase the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia.

According to the newspaper, in Ankara, it is associated with a sharp deterioration of the country’s economic situation, decrease of Turkish lira rate and fear of the possible sanctions by the United States because of this deal with Russia.

“The matter of supplying S-400 in July, as the Turkish president said, will not materialize, because the purchase will lead to Washington’s sanctions, and in the light of the current decline in the lira rate, this would mean an economic collapse of Turkey,” writes the Bild.

According to the newspaper’s source, “the economic crisis in Turkey is aggravated by Ankara’s aggressive foreign policy. Earlier, the German ambassador to Turkey, Martin Erdman, spoke against the purchase of anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia. "We want Turkey to remain a solid part of the Western alliance, and we are very concerned about the purchase of the S-400," he said at a conference in Istanbul.

The signing of Russia and Turkey contract for the supply of S-400 was officially confirmed in 2017. Unlike Russia’s first foreign customer, China, Turkey is to receive, not two, but one S-400 regiment set. The U.S. has been actively trying to prevent these weapons supply to Turkey.

The S-400 Triumph is a Russian long-range and medium-range anti-aircraft missile system. This system is intended to destroy an air assault and reconnaissance aircraft (including aircraft made using stealth technology) and any other air targets under intense fire conditions and electronic countermeasures.

 

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Turkey assessing delay at U.S. request in taking delivery of Russian missile: source
May 13, 2019
by Humeyra Pamuk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Turkey is assessing whether to delay taking delivery of the S-400 Russian missile defense system, currently scheduled for July, after a new request from the United States, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The move would be a rare pause in months of escalating tensions between the two NATO allies, which have been at loggerheads over Turkey’s planned purchase of the Russian system, which the United States opposes.

Washington requested last week that Ankara consider postponing taking delivery of the system, a source familiar with the matter said on the condition of anonymity.

There was no immediate response from Turkey, which has said repeatedly it was not going to back down from its planned purchase. Last week, Fahrettin Altun, spokesman for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, said the procurement of S-400s was a ‘done deal.’

The source said talks on the issue continued.

U.S. officials have called Turkey’s planned purchase of the S-400 missile defense system “deeply problematic,” saying it would risk Ankara’s partnership in the joint strike fighter F-35 program because it would compromise the jets, made by Lockheed Martin Corp.

The United States and other NATO allies that own F-35s fear the radar on the Russian S-400 missile system will learn how to spot and track the jet, making it less able to evade Russian weapons.

Ankara has also been pushing Washington to establish a working group to assess the risks the system would be posing to the F-35 jet. The United States has so far been reluctant to accept.

The disagreement is the latest in a series of diplomatic disputes between the United States and Turkey. They include Turkish demands that Washington extradite cleric Fethullah Gulen, differences over Middle East policy and the war in Syria, and sanctions on Iran.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Peter Cooney

 

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U.S. House members criticize Turkey over Russia ties
May 16, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senior Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives called on Turkey on Wednesday to cancel its planned acquisition of a Russian S-400 missile defense system, the latest effort by U.S. lawmakers to discourage Ankara from pursuing the deal.

They introduced a resolution urging Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to avoid a military relationship with Russia that could jeopardize the U.S.-Turkey partnership and Turkey’s role in NATO.

“Cozying up to (Russian President) Vladimir Putin is unacceptable,” Democratic Representative Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement.

U.S. officials have urged Turkey to cancel its purchase of the S-400 system or risk its position as both a prospective buyer and partner in production of the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet. They say Turkey’s plan to buy the S-400 would compromise the security of the jets and want Ankara to buy a U.S. missile defense system instead.

Members of Congress have tried a variety of approaches to convince Turkey to cancel the sale, including introducing legislation that would bar the federal government from spending any money to deliver any F-35 jets to Turkey.

The resolution was introduced by Representatives Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democrat, and Kevin McCarthy, the chamber’s top Republican, as well as Engel and Michael McCaul, the top Foreign Affairs Republican, Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey and ranking Republican Key Granger, as well as Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and ranking Republican Doug Collins.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Cynthia Osterman


 

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Turkey works to fulfill commitments on S-400, F-35: Defense minister
MALATYA- Anadolu Agency
May 18 2019

Turkey is trying to fulfill its commitments and responsibilities both on S-400 air defense system and F-35 fighter jet, the country’s defense minister said on May 17.

“On the issues of both S-400 and F-35, we are showing efforts to completely fulfill whatever our commitments and responsibilities are without flaws,” Hulusi Akar said during his visit to an airbase in eastern Malatya province where F-35 jets will be deployed.

"We are setting up an area for the activities of F-35 here,” Akar said, adding that some parts of the jets were being produced in Turkey.

Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey have reached a fever pitch in recent months with Turkey set to begin receiving the advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Russia.

U.S. officials have suggested Turkey buy the U.S. Patriot missile system rather than the S-400, arguing it is incompatible with NATO systems and is a threat to the F-35 fifth-generation stealth aircraft.

Turkey responded it was the U.S. refusal to sell it Patriots that led it to seek other sellers, adding that Russia offered a better deal, including technology transfers.

 

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‘No other options’: US will deliver F-35s, while Turkey will get S-400… and S-500, Erdogan says
19 May, 2019

‘No other options’: US will deliver F-35s, while Turkey will get S-400… and S-500, Erdogan says

© Sputnik / Vitaliy Ankov
The US will ‘sooner or later’ have to face reality and understand that Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 systems is a done deal, President Erdogan said, noting that the current agreement is just the beginning.

“We’re done with the S-400. There is absolutely no question of stepping back on the S-400. It is a defense system, not an attack system,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday during a televised question and answer session with university students in Istanbul, adding that the first deliveries of the Russian anti-aircraft weapon system are expected in July.

Explaining that Russian military hardware is offered on “very favorable terms” and with no strings attached, Erdogan said that Ankara is also potentially seeking to acquire the next generation S-500 systems – or even engage in co-production partnership – once Russia completes development of its newest mobile surface-to-air missile system.

The $2.5 billion defense deal with Moscow enraged Washington, which threatened its NATO ally with all kinds of sanctions while offering to substitute the Russian systems with Patriot batteries – a carrot Ankara has been reluctant to accept. At the same time, Washington threatened to block the delivery of 100 F-35 jets purchased by Turkey, and terminate its participation in the F-35 program. Ankara, having invested $1.25 billion in the trillion-dollar program, is a vital partner, producing parts of fuselage, landing gear, and cockpit displays for the jets.

Ankara has repeatedly slammed Washington’s coercive diplomacy, saying that Turkey is not a “slave” dancing to the US’ tune when it comes to protecting the nation’s sovereignty. Nevertheless, Erdogan said he has no doubts that the stealth jets will be delivered.

“They [the US] are passing the ball around in the midfield now, showing some reluctance,” the president said. “But sooner or later, we will receive the F-35s. Not delivering them is not an option.”

 

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USA-Turkey F-35 crisis grows with S-400 delivery before July
20 May, 2019
  • BY: Garrett Reim
  • Los Angeles

Russia could deliver the S-400 anti-aircraft system to Turkey before July possibly forcing the USA to withhold delivery of Ankara’s F-35A stealth fighters.

The US and its allies are concerned that Turkey’s plan to buy the Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile system could expose vulnerabilities of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II – weaknesses which could then be exploited by Russia. Ankara has dismissed those concerns, says it is going forward with the delivery of the S-400 and expects Washington to deliver its F-35 aircraft in due course.

"It is definitely out of the question for us to step back on the issue of S-400s, it is a done deal," said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a TV broadcast in Istanbul on 18 May, according to Turkish news outlet Daily Sabah. Erdoğan repeatedly has refused to give up the controversial missile system and now says that delivery of the battery is imminent.

"Our deal was to have the S-400s delivered to us by July; they will probably bring that forward," he says.

The S-400 radar system is considered one of the most advanced on the export market and has been advertised by Rosoboronexport as having an "anti-stealth range" of up to 81nm (150km). The system is deployed in strategic locations across Russia, such as Kaliningrad. China and India have also signed deals to acquire the system.

To entice Turkey into giving up the S-400, the USA has instead offered Raytheon’s Patriot missile system. The Patriot missiles system is seen as less advanced and Turkey has refused the trade, however.

In light of Ankara’s march toward the S-400, the US Department of Defense (DoD) halted delivery of F-35 parts and manuals to Turkey in April. This despite Lockheed Martin officially presenting the first F-35A fighters to Turkey in a June 2018 rollout ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas. Turkey is not expected to receive the stealth fighter in its own airspace until 2020.

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has said he is optimistic that Turkey will give up the S-400 and receive the F-35, but also recently has said that the USA is making moves to replace the country’s participation in the programme. In total, ten different Turkish firms make parts for every F-35 manufactured.

Turkey remains publicly confident that the USA will not remove it from the F-35 programme.

"[The USA is] passing the ball around in the midfield now, showing some reluctance. But sooner or later, we will receive the F-35s,” Erdoğan says. “The US not delivering them is not an option."

Further raising the stakes, Turkey will also help Russia produce its next generation of anti-aircraft systems, Erdoğan says.

"After the S-400s, the S-500s are also considered, and there will be coproduction of S-500s as well," he says.



 

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Turkey has until next month to cancel S-400 Russian arms deal or face harsh US penalties

View attachment 7279

WASHINGTON — Turkey has a little more than two weeks to decide whether to complete a complex arms deal with the U.S. or risk severe penalties by going through with an agreement to buy a missile system from Russia, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

By the end of the first week of June, Turkey must cancel a multibillion-dollar deal with Russia and instead buy Raytheon’s U.S.-made Patriot missile defense system — or face removal from Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program, forfeiture of 100 promised F-35 jets, imposition of U.S. sanctions and potential blowback from NATO.


As it stands now, the U.S. State Department’s current offer is the final one, multiple sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity told CNBC when asked whether the deadline had room for more extensions.

Turkey, a NATO member, is slated to receive the Russian-made S-400, a mobile surface-to-air missile system, next month. The S-400 is said to pose a risk to the NATO alliance as well as the F-35, America’s most expensive weapons platform.


“NATO countries need to procure military equipment that is interoperable with NATO systems. A Russian system would not meet that standard,” said a U.S. State Department official who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter.

“We underscore that Turkey will face very real and negative consequences if it completes its S-400 delivery,” the official added.

In 2017, Ankara brokered a deal reportedly worth $2.5 billion with the Kremlin for the S-400 despite warnings from the U.S. that buying the system would come with political and economic consequences.


In multiple efforts to deter Turkey from buying the S-400, the State Department offered in 2013 and 2017 to sell the country Raytheon’s Patriot missile system. Ankara passed on the Patriot both times because the U.S. declined to provide a transfer of the system’s sensitive missile technology.

All the while, Turkey has become a financial and manufacturing partner for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet, the world’s most advanced fighter.
 

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Kremlin condemns alleged U.S. ultimatum to Turkey over missile deal
May 22, 2019

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Wednesday condemned as unacceptable an alleged U.S. ultimatum to Turkey designed to force it to cancel a deal to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems and purchase U.S. Patriot missile systems instead.

Moscow was responding to a CNBC report which said Washington had given Turkey just over two weeks to scrap the Russian deal and do an arms deal with the United States instead or risk severe penalties.

Turkey and the United States have been at odds on several fronts, including Ankara’s decision to buy the S-400s, which cannot be integrated into NATO systems. Washington says the Russian deal, if it goes ahead, would jeopardize Turkey’s role in building Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets.
When asked about the CNBC report by reporters on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said:

“We regard this extremely negatively. We consider such ultimatums to be unacceptable, and we are going on the many statements made by representatives of Turkey’s leadership headed by President (Tayyip) Erdogan that the S-400 deal is already complete and will be implemented.”
Turkey’s defense minister said earlier on Wednesday that Ankara was preparing for potential U.S. sanctions over its purchase of the Russian missile system even though he said there was some improvement in talks with the United States over buying F-35 fighter jets.

Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya/Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Andrew Osborn

 

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Turkey preparing for possible U.S. sanctions over S-400s: minister
May 22, 2019
Orhan Coskun


ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey’s defense minister said it was preparing for potential U.S. sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems, even while he said there was some improvement in talks with the United States over buying F-35 fighter jets.

Turkey and the United States have been at odds on several fronts including Ankara’s decision to buy the S-400s, which cannot be integrated into NATO systems. Washington says it would jeopardize Turkey’s role in building Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, which it says would be compromised by S-400s.

While Washington has warned that Ankara faced sanctions under its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) if it presses on with the deal, Turkey has said it expected U.S. President Donald Trump to protect it.

Speaking to reporters late on Tuesday, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkey was fulfilling its responsibilities in the F-35 project and expected the program to continue as planned. He said buying the S-400s was only meant to meet Turkey’s defense needs and posed no threats.

“We are doing whatever normal bilateral agreements mandate. Though there are some issues from time to time, we are pleased that there has been no sharp turn until now... Turkey is also making preparations for the potential implementation of CAATSA sanctions,” he said.

“In our talks with the United States, we see a general easing and rapprochement on issues including the east of the Euphrates, F-35s and Patriots.”

Turkey’s lira has been sliding in part on concerns over the U.S. sanctions, which would hit an economy already in recession after a currency crisis last year. Among its other disputes with Washington is strategy in Syria east of the Euphrates River, where the United States is allied with Kurdish forces that Turkey views as foes.

Akar said linking the S-400s purchase with that of the F-35s is “another hurdle” and noted that nine NATO partners have a stake.

“There is no clause anywhere in the F-35 agreement saying one will be excluded from the partnership for buying S-400s,” he said. “Turkey has paid $1.2 billion. We also produced the parts ordered from us on time. What more can we do as a partner?”

In trying to persuade Turkey to give up the Russian missiles, the United States has offered to sell its rival Raytheon Co. Patriot missile defense systems, which Akar said Ankara was evaluating. He said Turkish and U.S. officials were working on price, technology transfer and joint production issues on the latest U.S. offer in late March.

The minister also said conceptual work on the SAMP-T defense systems with the Franco-Italian EUROSAM consortium were expected to be completed in October. He said EUROSAM had offered to install a SAMP-T battery in Turkey and that scouting work would be carried out.

Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Dominic Evans, Jonathan Spicer and Peter Graff

 

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Turkey is in a difficult situation.

The S-400 is the best missile defence in the world (that's why even China bought it) but F-35 is the best fighter jet in the world. The su-57 is very expensive and not being ordered in huge numbers by Russia even, and Turkey's air force is all US supplied so it is not easy to switch to a totally different system (and then train pilots and maintain the two different sets of planes etc).

But if they buckle to US pressure here then it will set a bad precedent for the future, especially after the Pastor Branson incident.

Be interesting to see what happens.
 

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Turkey has until next month to cancel a messy multibillion-dollar Russian arms deal or face harsh US penalties
Published Tue, May 21 2019
Updated Wed, May 22 2019
by Amanda Macias

Key Points
  • Turkey has a little more than two weeks to decide whether to complete a complex arms deal with the U.S. or risk severe penalties by going through with an agreement to buy a missile system from Russia, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.
  • By the end of the first week of June, Turkey must cancel the Russian deal and buy Raytheon’s U.S.-made Patriot missile defense system or face removal from Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program, forfeiture of 100 promised F-35 jets, imposition of U.S. sanctions and potential blowback from NATO.
  • The U.S. State Department’s current offer is the final one, according to multiple sources.
PA: S-400 systems

Russia’s S-400 surface-to-air missile system is seen during a military parade in Moscow’s Red Square.
Sefa Karacan | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images


WASHINGTON — Turkey has a little more than two weeks to decide whether to complete a complex arms deal with the U.S. or risk severe penalties by going through with an agreement to buy a missile system from Russia, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

By the end of the first week of June, Turkey must cancel a multibillion-dollar deal with Russia and instead buy Raytheon’s U.S.-made Patriot missile defense system — or face removal from Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program, forfeiture of 100 promised F-35 jets, imposition of U.S. sanctions and potential blowback from NATO.

As it stands now, the U.S. State Department’s current offer is the final one, multiple sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity told CNBC when asked whether the deadline had room for more extensions.

Turkey, a NATO member, is slated to receive the Russian-made S-400, a mobile surface-to-air missile system, next month. The S-400 is said to pose a risk to the NATO alliance as well as the F-35, America’s most expensive weapons platform.

“NATO countries need to procure military equipment that is interoperable with NATO systems. A Russian system would not meet that standard,” said a U.S. State Department official who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter.

“We underscore that Turkey will face very real and negative consequences if it completes its S-400 delivery,” the official added.

In 2017, Ankara brokered a deal reportedly worth $2.5 billion with the Kremlin for the S-400 despite warnings from the U.S. that buying the system would come with political and economic consequences.

In multiple efforts to deter Turkey from buying the S-400, the State Department offered in 2013 and 2017 to sell the country Raytheon’s Patriot missile system. Ankara passed on the Patriot both times because the U.S. declined to provide a transfer of the system’s sensitive missile technology.

All the while, Turkey has become a financial and manufacturing partner for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet, the world’s most advanced fighter.

PA: F35 Turkey

An F-35 fighter jet is seen as Turkey takes delivery of its first F-35 fighter jet with a ceremony in Forth Worth, Texas, USA on June 21, 2018. Two such planes destined for Turkey are yet to leave American soil.
Atilgan Ozdil | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images


Lockheed Martin and Raytheon were preparing to make massive adjustments to their intricate production schedules amid a contentious negotiation with Turkey.

If Turkey goes through with the Russian deal, Lockheed Martin would have to rework its supply chain on components for the F-35 fighter jet, while also making changes to its production schedule.

Yet if Turkey abandons its deal with Russia, Raytheon would reorganize the Patriot missile defense system production schedule to guarantee that Turkey could receive the missile system within a faster time frame.

Last year, Turkey was in the process of constructing a site for the S-400 system, according to a person with firsthand knowledge of an intelligence report.

The intelligence assessment included satellite imagery of a concrete launch facility as well as bunkers, according to the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The new construction fits the pattern for Russia’s S-400 system, the person indicated.

If Turkey does receive its S-400 from the Kremlin this summer, the system is expected to be ready for use by 2020.


 

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