Turkey is eyeing a long-range missile defense system of its own as part of its current effort to enhance the county’s defensive strategic military capabilities.
Ankara is looking forward to the joint production of a new generation S-500 air and missile defense system with Russia, President Recep Tayyip has said.
“I have contacted President Putin with a proposal about the joint production of the S-500,” Erdogan said in an interview with 24 TV.
He didn’t mention the Russian president’s response to the idea or when exactly it had been pitched to Putin.
Anadolu news agency has quoted the Turkish president as saying that Russia had given Ankara a loan to buy the S-400 missile systems on “very acceptable terms.”
“During the second and third stages we will proceed to the joint production of the S-500 systems,” Erdogan said.
The S-500 air defense system, to replace the current S-400 system, is being developed and is scheduled to enter service within the next 25 years.
Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier said that the new system would start being supplied to the armed force in 2020.
In February, then-Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told the newspaper Kommersant that the production of truck-mounted S-500 and S-400 systems was already underway in Nizhny Novgorod.
President Erdogan earlier noted that, if necessary, Ankara was ready to use the Russian-made S-400 missile systems.
“These are defensive systems, so why don’t we…