A contract to supply the powerful S-400 anti-aircraft missile system to Russia’s perennial enemy – Turkey, is in its final stages, according to the head of Russia’s defense company Rosoboronexport.
The Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport’s Director General Alexander Mikheev told Sputnik on Tuesday:
“The contract is ready, but has not been signed or entered into force.”
Russia and Turkey have been discussing the contract since November 2016, with top officials from both countries repeatedly confirming that the deal has been “agreed upon” and arrived “at the final decision point.”
The Russian-made S-400 system is capable of shooting down aircraft at ranges of up to 400 km and ballistic missiles at a range of 60 km. It can engage up to 36 targets simultaneously and can use various missile types for different targets. The Russian Army has already received the most sophisticated batch of missiles for the S-400, capable of shooting targets in the nearest space, according to military officials.
In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow was “ready” to supply Ankara with the S-400 system.
“We discussed the possibility of selling S-400s [to Turkey]. We are ready for this,” Putin said. “We are ready to deliver these newest and most efficient systems. President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and our countries’ militaries are aware of it.”