Turkey seeks Russian SAM system
Turkey wants to acquire Russia's next generation S-400 Triumph surface to air missile system, NATO codename SA-21 Growler, according to Rosonboronexport senior official Anatoly Aksyonov, news agency RIA Novosti reported.
“Turkey has demonstrated a persistent desire to buy S-400 missile systems from Russia,” he said.
Aksyonov said the possible purchase was discussed at the IDEF show in Istanbul. “The interest in the S-400 is not occasional,” a spokesman said.
The SAM system has been developed by Almaz-Antei and was first deployed in Russia in 2006. Reportedly this system is capable of detecting and engaging targets, including stealth aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles.
The S-400 is designed to intercept and destroy airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers, twice the range of the US’ MIM-104 Patriot, and two-and-a-half times that of Russia's S-300PMU-2.
So far, Russia has not exported S-400s, although there were reports in the Russian and foreign media that Moscow had been offering the system to China, the United Arab Emirates and Greece.
The S-400 system on display at IDEX in Abu Dhabi earlier this year
Iran has been reportedly showing interest in the S-400.
Russian military experts have described S-400 not just as an air defence system, but as a potential part of a strategic missile defence architecture that can also protect the airspace of neighbouring states.