Transfer of technology and local production may have been included in Turkey’s S-400 air defence system purchase agreement with Russia, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar hinted today.
"We are not a country that only buys now, we are a state that creates knowledge and has production opportunities. The agreements we signed contain such provisions and since there are such provisions in the S-400 agreement, we are purchasing these systems," Akar told Turkish media.
Earlier reports of the deal from both Turkey and Russia suggested that there would be technology transfer. However, in the light of the defence minister’s statement, Ankara would benefit from technology transfer of the high-tech system and may use it to create a similar system on its own.
Announcing that Ankara will begin the deployment of the Russian-made S-400 air defense systems in October 2019, Akar said that Ankara had started recruiting military personnel to maintain the complexes. "The deployment of these systems will begin in October 2019. We are currently recruiting personnel to maintain these complexes. These people will go to Russia in early 2019 to receive necessary training," Akar added.
Akar believed "the US and NATO’s concern regarding the S-400 purchase to be irrelevant. We will neither cause concern to the US and NATO nor create any problems for them." he stressed.
The minister pointed out that Ankara had earlier requested the United States and European countries to sell their air defense systems to Turkey but had not received answers yet.
Meanwhile TASS reported that Russia’s defense companies had been tasked to complete the production of the S-400 systems for Ankara in May 2019. Initial plans were to deliver the systems over to Turkey in early 2020 but Ankara requested that the delivery be speeded up.