Turkish S-400, the eternal renewal

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Tensions between Washington and Ankara over Turkey's acquisition of the S-400 systems are again very high, after Turkey failed to reach an agreement with the United States to acquire the Patriot PAC System. 3. According to the Turkish authorities, no agreement could be reached with the United States, whether on the price, industrial compensation or technology transfer.

And as 6 months ago, the US authorities show their muscles, to try to bend the Turkish positions, by threatening in turn the exit of the country from the F-35 program, restrictions on the sales of defense equipment, or economic reprisals, that is to say the exact answer to the threats made in end of 2018, before Ankara reopens negotiations for the acquisition of Patriot.

On the Turkish side, on the other hand, the situation has visibly evolved. President Erdogan has had time to consolidate his positions. On the one hand, the S-400 contract has entered into force, and the first deliveries are expected by the middle of this year. According to Russian authorities, the entire contract will be executed in 2019, but this information remains to be confirmed.

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Furthermore, faced with US intransigence, President Erdogan said he was ready to consider the acquisition of S-500, the new Russian anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense system, whose entry into service is planned for 2020. Finally, Turkish industry has had 6 months to prepare for a potential exit from the F-35 program, from same as the Air Force and the Ministry of Defense. As such, we can easily imagine that, if Turkey says it is ready to acquire the S-500 systems and Russia has no objection, replacing the F35 with the Su-57 is a perfectly viable option. . 

The next few weeks will therefore be decisive not only for the future of defense industrial cooperation between the United States and Turkey, but for the maintenance, or not, of Turkey in NATO, a reality which is losing more every day. of its substance.

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