Erdoğan offers Putin joint production of S-500 missile system

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday that he had made an offer to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for joint production of the next-generation S-500 missile defense system, Daily Sabah reported.

In an interview with broadcaster 24 TV, Erdoğan criticised Turkey’s NATO allies’ unwillingness to sell arms to Turkey. "Russia [on the other hand] has given us a loan for the S-400 on very reasonable terms. In the second and third stages, we will proceed to joint production. Maybe we will co-produce S-500,” Erdoğan said. 

In December 2017, Turkey and Russia signed a $2.5 billion agreement for the sale of the Russian S-400 air defense system to Turkey which included four divisions of the system, each with nine missile launchers.

The S-400 is a long-range anti-aircraft missile system that is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles and is also effective against ground targets. Turkey is the second NATO member to employ Russian-made air defense missile systems, after Greece, which has used a version of the Russian missile system since the late 1990’s.

The S-400 deal between Turkey and Russia has been a source of concern for the West because the system cannot be integrated into NATO’s military architecture. Washington has warned Turkey that the move may compromise Turkey’s purchase of F-35 fighter jets from the U.S.