Turkey has agreed to pay US$2.5 Billion for four Russian-made S-400 missile defence system marking the end of a quest by Ankara to procure a missile defence system first from its NATO ally, US and later from China.
An unnamed Turkish source quoted by Bloomberg said that two of the batteries would be delivered from Russia while the remaining two would be manufactured/assembled in Turkey under a transfer of technology licence.
Timelines of the contract or deliveries have not been commented upon in the report. Up until a week ago, Turkey and Russia were maintaining that the deal had been agreed upon and only the financial negotiations remained to be discussed.
The Russian deal would allow Turkey to deploy the missile defense systems anywhere in the country, the report states.
Turkey wants to be able to produce its own advanced defense systems, and the Russian agreement to allow two of the S-400 batteries to be produced in Turkey would serve that aim, the Turkish official said.
The S-400 is designed to detect, track and then destroy aircraft, drones or missiles. It’s Russia’s most advanced integrated air defense system, and can hit targets as far as 250 miles away. Russia has also agreed to sell them to China and India.
The sides are currently sorting out technical details and it could take about one year to finalize the project, the Turkish official said. One battery may be available earlier if Russia decides to divert it from another country, the official added. The missiles are not ready to sell off-the-shelf and Russia will have to produce the batteries before delivering them.
The report says the systems delivered to Turkey would not have a friend-or-foe identification system, which means they could be deployed against any threat without restriction.