For the first time since 2008, Russia and Turkey have signed a contract for the supply of military products. Previously, Russian enterprises have repeatedly supplied the Turkish army with certain systems, but over the past few years, such contracts have not been signed. In addition, in the autumn of 2015, in response to the perfidious attack of the Turkish Air Force, Russia temporarily ceased any cooperation in the military sphere. The situation gradually stabilized, and now the two countries are ready to resume cooperation. This was confirmed by the appearance of a new contract.
On Tuesday 12 September, the first reports appeared in the Turkish and then in the Russian press in the context of the new agreement. The media quoted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said that he had recently signed a contract to supply Triumph C-400 anti-aircraft missile systems. Also, the head of state noted that the first installment had already been made on this contract. In the future, according to the Turkish president, Russia will have to issue a loan to the partner.
Soon the press service of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation confirmed the fact of signing a contract for the supply of air defense missile systems. However, she did not specify the details of this agreement. Priority right to comment on the agreement The service left the customer. At the same time, she stressed that the new contract is in line with Russia's geopolitical interests.
After the first reports of the signing of the contract, some of its details were published. Thus, the Kommersant publication, using its unnamed sources in military-political circles, was able to obtain a number of additional information about the treaty. According to these sources, the contract for the supply of C-400 systems was the result of political agreements at the highest level. Negotiations on the future agreement were presidents Recep Erdogan and Vladimir Putin. The heads of state discussed this issue during their meetings this spring. It was the participation of the presidents that made it possible to solve all problems and sign a contract within a year after the start of negotiations.
According to Kommersant, the new contract involves the delivery of four divisions of the Triumph complexes. The total value of these products will exceed 2 billion US dollars. Considering the value of the contract, the publication recalls a similar agreement with China. The same four C-400 divisions cost the Chinese treasury 1,9 billion dollars. In addition, this contract was signed only after three years of negotiations.
Sources of Kommersant claim that the current situation with the export contract has several specific features. Thus, the agreement does not mention the allocation of credit for Turkey, which leads to the need for additional negotiations on a separate agreement. In addition, the Turkish side wants not only to get ready-made anti-aircraft complexes, but also to adjust their production at their enterprises. Transferring a number of critical technologies to a NATO member state does not seem appropriate. Nevertheless, the possibility of some localization of production is not excluded yet.
The delivery dates have not yet been officially announced, but certain assessments have already appeared on this subject. According to known data, the Almaz-Antey aerospace defense concern is currently engaged in the production of Triumph complexes for the Russian armed forces. Next year, the assembly of similar systems will begin as part of the Chinese order. Production facilities of the concern are loaded until the very end of the decade. Thus, the construction of air defense missile systems for Turkey can begin only after a few years.
The configuration of export complexes ordered by Turkey has not yet been clarified. The C-400 air defense system includes a significant number of various components, both ground-based weapons and anti-aircraft guided missiles. Which products and in what quantities will be sent to a foreign customer is not reported.
Quite quickly, the Russian-Turkish agreement was criticized by third countries. First on such news reacted the United States. The spokesman for the US military, Johnny Michael, said that Washington has already brought to Ankara its concern about the new contract. In addition, he noted that the best option for Turkey would be an anti-aircraft system that meets NATO standards.
The answer was not long in coming. Soon RT Erdogan in a rigid manner commented on the position of the Pentagon. He stated that Turkey intends to make important decisions on its own, and will do so in the future. “We ourselves are masters in our home,” the Turkish president concluded his comment. The response from the United States has not yet followed.
The new contract for the supply of C-400 "Triumph" is of interest for a number of reasons. As already noted, this is the first time since 2008, when Turkey orders Russian weapons and equipment. In addition, C-400 has not yet had time to become a massive export commodity. At the moment, these complexes are only available in Russia, and in the foreseeable future China will also appear. Turkey, in turn, will become the third largest operator of Triumph in the world, as well as the first among the NATO countries.
The Russian-Turkish agreement can also be considered a point in the protracted stories on the purchase of Ankara anti-aircraft complexes. For a long time, the Turkish armed forces wished to acquire modern foreign-made air defense systems. Over the next few years, the potential customer got acquainted with commercial offers and chose the most profitable. It did not go without problems of a political nature.
From a certain time, Turkey began to lean toward Russian and Chinese-made systems, but this was immediately followed by a reaction from overseas. Washington warned Ankara against such a choice, threatening with possible technical and organizational problems. Turkey offered to get out of this situation with the help of supplies of US Patriot air defense systems, but this option did not suit foreign partners.
In 2013, the Turkish army chose the winner of the competition. In accordance with its decision, in the very near future a contract was to appear for the supply of Chinese HQ-9 systems, partly resembling Russian C-300P systems. The decisive competitive advantage of the HQ-9 air defense system was the relatively low price and the readiness of China to transfer technology for the assembly of equipment in Turkey. However, a firm contract was never signed, which is why the Turkish authorities again had to choose a supplier.
In the middle of last year, new negotiations were launched, during which Russia was a potential supplier. The subject of the future contract was to become the newest C-400 complexes, the export of which was allowed only a few years ago. Negotiations were conducted at the highest level, which made it possible to speed up the necessary processes. Thanks to this, the supply agreement was signed less than a year after the start of consultations. This can be considered a real record.
It should be noted that negotiations on the new contract started immediately after the improvement of relations between the two countries. Recall, after the attack by the Turkish fighter of the Russian bomber, which ended with the death of one of our pilots, Moscow turned off all cooperation with Ankara in the military field. According to the results of the well-known domestic and foreign policy events of the recent past, Turkey was forced to do everything possible to restore cooperation. To date, its actions have led to the appearance of a contract for the supply of anti-aircraft systems.
Published in recent days, information shows that the new deal is beneficial to the Russian side for a number of reasons. First of all, this is another replenishment of orders' portfolios, bringing money to industry and the state. It is noteworthy that the "Turkish" contract is significantly more expensive than the previous "Chinese", and in addition, Turkey will purchase equipment on credit. The economic benefits of this are quite understandable.
Certain issues are the political side of the agreement. Not so long ago, Turkey forced Russia to take a series of harsh measures, but now the situation has changed and the relations of the countries have returned to normal. Nevertheless, since the first information about the possible sale of C-400 appeared, various concerns have been expressed regularly, directly related to the unreliability of Ankara as a military-political partner.
Nevertheless, as noted by the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, the signed contract fully meets the interests of Russia. This means that even before the start of negotiations, the Russian side assessed all the consequences of a possible deal and made conclusions. The Turkish authorities did not receive a refusal, which indicates that there are no risks for Russian interests.
The prerequisites for the emergence of a new Russian-Turkish contract and its consequences will long be a topic of discussion and dispute. You should also expect different estimates and assumptions in the context of the timing of the order, its technical aspects, etc. And only one fact, directly following from the presence of the Turkish order, is beyond doubt. Russia maintains a leading position in the international market for air defense systems and is not going to give up its positions. The next order - all the more, received from the NATO country - will only strengthen the position of the Russian industry, as well as serve as an advertisement addressed to potential customers.
On the materials of the sites:
"Triumph" for NATO
- Ryabov Kirill
- Photos used:
- Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation