Turkey and Russia sign S-400 defence system deal

  • Daniela Tkadlečková
  • 3.1.2018 22:47

Aiming to build a defence industry independent of the West, Turkey finalised a deal to buy a Russian S-400 air defence system on 29 December. In respect to its ties with the West, Turkey is possibly showing different options in military and technology cooperation - partners not traditionally preferred by NATO. At the same time, however, Turkey seeks to restore its military reputation despite ongoing purges in the armed forces.

Turkey, who is trying to become self-sufficient in acquiring defence technologies, confirmed that the Russian offer was the most advantageous and had the potential to boost Turkish industry. Turkey is the second NATO member, after Greece, to deploy a Russian defence system on its territory. Aware of the country's regional role, experts urge Turkish president Erdogan to keep the Turkey-Russia relationship transparent. Turkey faces instability in its neighbourhood and Erdogan believes the system will add to Turkey's internal security. However, the operability of Turkey's armed forces remains in disarray after the unsuccessful coup attempt in 2016 and subsequent governmental slashes. Thousands of dismissed experienced military officers are to be replaced by 40.000 new personnel, but the restoration of Turkish military capabilities seems to be in need of more than an air defence system investment. Recently, Turkey has been a problematic partner for Europe and NATO.

About author: Daniela Tkadlečková

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