Turkey considered NATO before Russian missile system

Defense minister says Ankara could not get attractive deal from NATO partners for defense missile

Turkey considered NATO before Russian missile system

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey is looking to buy a missile system from Russia after being rebuffed by its NATO allies, Defense Minister Fikri Isik said Thursday.

Last month, the minister said Ankara was exploring the possibility of purchasing the Russian-made S-400 system for Turkey’s first long-range air and anti-missile defense system.

Such a move would be seen as a snub to NATO, which Turkey joined in 1952, and compound existing differences with allies such as Germany and the U.S.

However, Isik said Turkey had looked to Moscow after being unable to secure an attractive deal from its NATO partners.

“Unfortunately we haven’t seen any clarity and solidarity in terms of sharing technology and a price advantage,” he told the A Haber TV channel.

He added: “If both countries agree on the sale there wouldn’t be any obstacle for Turkey to purchase S-400 systems in order to boost its air defense capacity.”

Isik said a Russian system would not be integrated into NATO’s air defense network.

The potential sale was discussed when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Moscow earlier this month.

On Tuesday, Sergey Chemezov, the CEO of Rostec, a Russian state corporation that promotes civil and military exports, said Turkey was ready to finance the S-400 deal with a loan from Moscow.

“Turkey is expressing its wish, they would like to receive a loan,” he told broadcaster Rossiya 24.

The S-400 is Russia’s next-generation air defense system. It can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets including ballistic and cruise missiles.

It can track and engage up to 300 targets at the same time and has an altitude ceiling of 27 kilometers (17 miles).

In 2013, Turkey selected China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation for a long-range air defense system but later scrapped the deal under pressure from NATO.

Since then, Ankara has negotiated with Western firms but has also commissioned Turkish companies Aselsan and Roketsan to develop a system.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Mart 2017, 17:57