Turkey may buy another batch of S-400 air defense systems from Russia if the United States (US) denies to sell its Patriot systems, Turkish Foreign Minister said.
"We need more systems until we can produce our own. If we can buy from the US, we will buy Patriots. If not, then we will buy more S-400s. We are an independent country,” Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkish Foreign Minister said at the ongoing strategic forum in Bled.
The S-400 has been the bone of contention between Turkey and the US, with the latter having tried to persuade Ankara to ditch the Russian systems for American Patriot missile defense system earlier.
The country became first NATO-ally to strike a deal with Russia when it inked a $2.5 billion deal for S-400 air defense systems in 2017, irking the US. The US later kicked out Ankara from the F-35 program.
Delivery of the first batch of the systems to Turkey began this year on July 12, and was completed on July 25. Turkey is currently receiving the second batch of the Russian systems, shipment of which commenced on August 27.
Cavusoglu added that Ankara is not negotiating the purchase of Russia's Su-57 and Su-35 fighters at the moment, even as Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted at possible purchase of the Russian jets and other electronic warfare systems at the recently concluded MAKS-2019 air show, Moscow.
When asked whether Turkey was considering Russian-made fighter jets as an alternative to F-35 fighter, Erdogan reportedly said, "Why not? We did not come here to the MAKS aerospace show for nothing.” Erdogan further said Ankara will take the final call after it learns of its participation in the F-35 program.