Russia may offer its latest aircraft such as the Su-35 and the Su-57 stealth jets if Turkey seeks an alternative in the event of the United States cancelling the sale of F-35 fighters to Ankara.
Alexander Mikheev, head of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, said on April 24 that Russia is ready to discuss the possibility, according to Interfax news agency.
“If the Turkish side applies to us for consultations, we will be ready to consult with the Russian United Aircraft Company within the scope of our possibilities,” he said.
“Turkey is unfazed by US threats. We have a Plan B in case the US continues to block F-35 deliveries and terminates the deal. We have short-term, medium-term and long-term plans,” Turkey’s National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on April 23, according to a report by Hurriyet Daily.
While Mikheev has not named the aircraft his country would be willing to sell to Turkey, the possible substitute to the F-35 could be the Su-57, which has stealth features similar to the American plane.
Viktor Kladov, Director for International Cooperation and Regional Policy of Rostec, the Russian defence entities holding company had said during the course of a media briefing at the Langkawi International Maritime and Air show in March that the Middle East was seen as a key market for the Su-57. A dedicated export version of the aircraft, the Su-57E may be unveiled at the Dubai Air Show later this year.
Russia is has left the option of including Turkey in their S-400 programme. It said Ankara can produce components for its missile defense system.
During the last week of March, Washington suspended the delivery of F-35 fighter jet equipment to Turkey over Ankara’s plans to buy Russia’s S-400 surface-to-air missile system.
The first two jets were delivered to Turkey in June, and Turkish pilots started training at the Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Earlier this month, Turkey received two more F-35 jets. Currently, Turkish pilots continue their training, and the jets will be deployed to Malatya air base in Turkey by November.