Ankara signs contract for the purchase of second batch of Russian missile system
A contract for the delivery of a second batch of the S-400 air defense system has been signed with Turkey, Russian news agency TASS reported on Tuesday.
Citing the head of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS), TASS said that the contract also involved the local production of some of the system's components.
FSVTS chief Dmitry Shugayev told TASS:
"A corresponding agreement has already been signed. Among other things, it will allow for the production of some components of the [S-400 Triumf] system to be localized."
Turkish government media reported the deal under the headline, "A game changer! Turkey to partake in S-400 production."
PDI: "Proceeding in accordance with the initial agreement"
The Turkish Presidency of Defense Industries (PDI), in the meanwhile, said in a statement on Tuesday that there has recently been "no new development" regarding S-400 missile systems.
"The process is proceeding in accordance with the initial agreement," it added.
The chair of the PDI had said in late April:
"The purchase of a second batch has been planned right from the beginning (...) Turkey is taking steps in accordance with the decision it earlier made."
The S-400 controversy
Turkey's purchase of S-400 missile system in 2017 had been met with strong reaction by the United States administration, leading to the exclusion of Turkey from the fifth generation fighter jet (F-35) program.
In the process Ankara has not only been deprived of an opportunity to bolster its air force with F-35s, but has also lost its role in the production and servicing of the aircraft, an arrangement that would have allowed it to earn billions of dollars in export revenue and benefit from significant technology transfers.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has invested his prestige in the S-400 purchase, played a decisive role in the critical choice made by Turkey.
In a move to partially compensate for its future loss of air power, Ankara is now engaged in negotiations with Washington to purchase new F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits.
A Turkish delegation headed to the US to proceed in the talks for the procurement and modernization of F-16 fighters, Turkish Defense Ministry said Monday.