No F-35, No Problem for Turkey: Russia Could Sell them Su-34s and S-400s

No F-35, No Problem for Turkey: Russia Could Sell them Su-34s and S-400s

Mark Episkopos

Security, Europe

But why?

Chemezov’s announcement came just two days after Washington formally removed Turkey from the F-35 program, costing Ankara billions of dollars in F-35 contract work and technology transfer.

In a move that threatens to reaffirm the growing military rift between Turkey and NATO, Russia’s defense industry is stepping up its efforts to sell Ankara its Su-35 fighter on the heels of the S-400 deal that saw Turkey’s ejection from the F-35 program.

Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov provided a clear statement of Russian intent earlier last week:  “If our Turkish colleagues express their interest, we are ready to work out the delivery of the Su-35.” This offer marks a departure from Russia’s initial overtures to sell Turkey its upcoming Su-57 fighter, made earlier this summer.

(This first appeared in July 2019.)

As previously described by The National Interest, the Su-35 is currently Russia’s most advanced air superiority fighter. Designed as an interim solution to sustain the Russian Air Force (VKS) in anticipation for the Su-57, the Su-35 strikes a compelling blend of performance and role versatility with its modernized avionics suite, Vympel R-77 air-to-air missiles, and an air-launched variant of Russia’s Kalibr anti-ship missiles. Chemezov’s offer reflects Russia’s confidence that the Su-35, much unlike the Su-57, can be mass-produced in sufficient quantities to satisfy Turkey’s early 2020’s delivery timeframe.

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