Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed interest in the joint production of new generation S-500 air and missile defense system with Russia.
“I have contacted President Putin with a proposal about the joint production of the S-500,” Erdogan said in an interview with 24 TV Thursday.
This is not the first time that Erdogan has proposed the joint production of the missile system. Earlier, in October 2017, Erdogan had said to Habertürk newspaper that the two countries were in talks on the S-500s, after he returned from a trip to Ukraine and Serbia.
The S-500 missile system, manufactured by Almaz Antey is yet to enter service with the Russian armed forces. In February this year, then-Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin was quoted as saying to Kommersant news daily that the production of truck mounted S-500 and S-400 systems were underway in Nizhny Novgorod.
The S-500, to form the upper tier of Russia’s layered air defenses, is expected to be able to engage targets at altitudes of over 60 miles, to engage targets which are out of reach for all missile defense systems now in existence, Sputnik reported.
The system will be able to detect and simultaneously engage up to ten ballistic missile warheads flying at speeds of over four miles a second. Its one-of-a-kind self-homing warheads search for their targets and, finding them, switch to an automatic-homing mode.
The S-500 is also the only missile defense system capable of engaging hypersonic targets.