Turkey and Russia have the technological and industrial capability to jointly produce a fifth-generation fighter jet, according to Viktor Kladov, the International Cooperation and Regional Policy Department director at Russia's state-run defense company, Rostec.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Kladov focused on the S-400 deal between the Russia and Turkey, joint fighter jet production as well as other military, technical and industrial projects between the two countries.
He said that there is a need for a long consultation process between Russia and Turkey if they were to jointly produce a fifth-generation fighter jet. "For such a major project, the parties should not only be interested but also be prepared to work together," he added.
"Though it might be a 'serious' decision, I am convinced that the two countries are capable of implementing such a project," Kladov said.
He also touched upon the S-400 air defense systems agreement, suggesting that it is an important step to strengthen the military-technical cooperation between Turkey and Russia. In December, Turkey officially signed a $2.5 billion agreement with Russia for the S-400s - Russia's most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system.
With the move, Turkey is set to become the first NATO member country to acquire the system.
As a NATO member country, Turkey's decision to buy the Russian S-400 systems has raised concern among other NATO member countries. However, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg ended speculations, saying member states have the sovereign right to make decisions regarding their military purchases.
The S-400 missile defense system is Russia's most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system and can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles.
The system can track and engage up to 300 targets at a time and has an altitude ceiling of 27 kilometers (17 miles). With the purchase of the S-400s, Ankara aims to build Turkey's first long-range air and anti-missile defense system to guard against threats in the region. Moreover, Turkey seeks to build its own missile defense systems as the deal also involves the transfer of technology and know-how. The S-400 system, which was introduced in 2007, is the new generation of Russian missile systems, and so far Russia has only sold them to China and India.
DELIVERY OF S-400 SYSTEM
TO BEGIN IN 2019
Kladov said that they continue to work together with Turkey in civilian industrial areas, like helicopters and natural gas turbine engines. "I can clearly say that the S-400 agreement is an important step toward strengthening and improving the military-technical cooperation between our countries. I do not see any obstacles in the way of developing our collaboration in different and new industries," he added. He reminded that Turkey wants to bring forward the delivery of S-400s, while they plan to deliver the first system to the country in 2019. He stressed that the S-400s are an unparalleled defense system that can eliminate almost all aerial threats. Elaborating on the S-400's co-production with Turkey, Kladov said, "In this regard, we are talking about very serious technologies. In order to prepare for such a production organization, there is a need for a certain time, the supply of appropriate materials, technical infrastructure and human resources."
He underlined that Turkey is one of Rostec's priority
markets and added that in addition to the defense industry, there are other high technology products the company can offer, especially for the civilian industry.
Kladov said that they welcomed Turkey's decision to establish the Turkish Space Agency. "Our subsidiary Rosoboronexport took part in the launch of Turkish satellite Turksat-4A.
Regarding Turkey's geographical location and the regional mining industry he said: "We have technologies that can help the mining sector.
Our Shvabe Holding continues to produce high-tech medical equipment as well. I am sure that all these sectors have a high potential in Turkey."