Turkey-Russia sign missile loan deal – reports
Turkey and Russia signed the final deal for the sale of the Russian S-400 air defence system to Turkey, Turkish news website CNNTürk reported.
The purchase includes four divisions of the system, each with nine missile launchers, the website said. When the delivery is completed, Turkey will have 144 missiles in its inventory. The first batch will be delivered in March 2020.
45 per cent of the $2.5 billion worth deal will be paid by Ankara up front, and the remaining 55 per cent will be provided by the Russian Finance Ministry as a loan to Turkey, Reuters said.
Turkey will borrow in Russian roubles, not in U.S. dollars, Reuters quoted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as saying.
Sergei Chemezov, head of the Russian state-run military technologies company, Rostek, was quoted by the Russian newspaper Kommersant as saying that Russia gets geopolitical benefit from this deal.
“This is the first NATO country to acquire our newest air defence system, the S-400,” said Chemezov.
CNNTürk also provided an infographic prepared by Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu on the versatility of the S-400 system, listing the NATO aircraft and missiles that S-400 can eliminate.
NATO officials have warned Turkey that the purchase of the Russian air defence system ‘creates issues’ for the pact’s advanced fighter-jet project F-35, and U.S. officials have said that Turkey knows the ramifications if the deal goes through, Ahval reported earlier.
While going ahead with the S-400 purchase, Ankara has sought to secure defence deals with other countries as well, Reuters said.
Turkey is among the countries that U.S. defence giant Raytheon is contracted to sell the AMRAAM air-to-air missile defence system to, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement on Thursday.