WASHINGTON, (BM) – The United States can buy Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM), which are in service with the Turkish army, as part of legislative initiatives proposed in the Senate last week, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing TASS and Defense News.
According to the publications, such a move will allow the United States and Turkey to break the impasse regarding the participation of Ankara in the program for the production of fifth-generation fighter aircraft of the fifth generation F-35 Lightning II.
According to Defense News, a corresponding amendment was proposed by John Thune, the Republican Senate faction’s organizer for the Senate [representative of South Dakota], to the draft law on budgetary allocations for national defense for the fiscal year 2021 (2021 National Defense Authorization Act, 2021 NDAA).
It involves the redemption of the S-400 complexes that Turkey has at the expense of the US Army budget for the acquisition of missile weapons.
In turn, Senate Republican Committee Chairman Jim Rish (representative of Idaho) proposed a tougher amendment requiring President Donald Trump’s administration to impose sanctions on Turkey under the CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) 30 days after the entry of the 2021 NDAA in force, Defense News notes.
According to the publication, despite the influence of Rish and Thune, the inclusion of their amendments in the final version of the bill regulating the budgetary expenditures of the United States for national defense for fiscal year 2021 is not guaranteed.
The amendments were not ensured if the Senate agreed on a draft of the 2021 NDAA bill with the House of Representatives.
Defense News is rather skeptical about the likelihood of both amendments coming into force. The newspaper emphasizes that Senate leaders often agree among themselves amendments that do not cause any serious controversy. At the same time, discussions on them often stop even before any substantive discussion, the publication recalls.
In September 2017, the Russian Federation announced a contract for the supply of S-400 concluded with Turkey, its cost is $ 2.5 billion. The first deliveries began on July 12, 2019. The US and NATO are actively opposing the acquisition of S-400 by Turkey.
A White House spokeswoman on July 17, 2019 announced that the republic’s decision to acquire the S-400 made it impossible for her to continue participating in the F-35 program for creating American fighters.
Turkey’s poor financial situation was a signal of such a deal
We reported on May 15 that Ahmet Davutoglu in a live interview with a journalist of the newspaper Yeni Çağ said that Ankara and Washington could agree “behind closed doors” to not put into service the S-400 missile systems.
The Turkish Prime Minister draws such conclusions based on the statements of the American side and the fact that Turkey did not commission the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems in April, as previously planned.
“Based on by the signals that we are observing from the USA, I get the impression that behind closed doors, Ankara and Washington could agree and Turkey to not put the S-400 into operation” the Turkish television channel indicates.
A number of Russian experts have expressed a similar opinion that Turkey’s difficult economic situation due to the country’s coronavirus pandemic could force Turkey to “sell” its Russian S-400 anti-aircraft defense systems to the United States.
According to them, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intends to abandon the deployment of Russian air defense systems in the country. Such a decision was made under US pressure and apparently Russian complexes could be “sold” to Washington to investigate.
Then, several military experts explained that “the sale” should not be viewed literally, but metaphorically. I.e. Turkey cannot and does not have the right to resell these systems since their government has confirmed to the Russian Federation that Turkey is the end user. It seems the situation now is very different.
But at the same time, it can “freeze” their deployment and combat readiness, giving them access to US experts for exploration, analysis and full evaluation of their technical capabilities, as well as their most importnant part of them – the radar systems.
Israel also sent a similar signal
The same signals came from Israel. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz announced the idea that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intends to accept the US request for Ankara’s refusal to use Russian air defense systems S-400.
“Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in a letter to President Donald Trump he hoped the U.S. Congress would better understand the strategic importance of their relations, given solidarity and supplies shared during the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Congress has threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of S-400 defence systems from Russia, but the pandemic has delayed the plan to activate the systems as Ankara focuses on battling the disease at home” Haaretz notes.
In reality, there are already similar signals that Turkey may change its attitude on the subject of S-400.
Symbolic or not, as we reported on May 9 the Russian military was banned from being at military facilities where the ongoing deployment of S-400 air defense/missile defense systems in Turkey.
According to Turkish Defense Industry Directorate Ismail Demir, the control over the S-400 completely passes to the Turkish military, and the maintenance of these complexes will be entrusted to Turkish companies.
At the same time, Erdogan is negotiating with Russia again for the S-400
Against the background of all this, the Turkish president continues talks with the Russian side to acquire more S-400 systems, even for joint production.
BulgarianMilitary recalls that on June 2 the negotiations between Russia and Turkey on the delivery of the second set of S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft systems was in an advanced stage, according the head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Dmitry Shugaev.
“Negotiations are underway, this is a laborious process that requires a certain amount of time. But given the current restrictions in connection with the pandemic, it is not very grateful to predict the terms of concluding this contract,” TASS quoted him as saying.
Shugaev noted then that at the moment the parties are awaiting the final decision of Turkey.
Russian-Turkish S-400 deal background
Russia and Turkey signed a multi-billion dollar contract for the supply of S-400 Triumph air defense systems in 2017. The deal provoked strong discontent from the United States. Washington threatened Ankara with sanctions, and then expelled her from the F-35 fighter program.
On April 30, an official representative of the Turkish leader, Ibrahim Kalyn, announced the suspension of the transaction for the supply of S-400 systems due to the coronavirus.
S-400 Triumph is an anti-aircraft missile system capable of destroying modern targets of an air attack, including ballistic missiles. The detection range is up to 600 km, the radius of the cover zone is 400 km.
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