ISTANBUL, August 18. /TASS/. Russia is ready to expand cooperation with Turkey for the delivery of aircraft and helicopters, Head of the Rosoboronexport state arms seller’s delegation Denis Gizunov told TASS at the IDEF’21 international defense industry show in Istanbul on Wednesday.
"We are holding certain consultations on their TF-X [Turkish Fighter-Experimental] program [the program of creating the Turkish latest fifth-generation fighter] to render assistance to the Turkish side. Moreover, we are ready for a broader dialogue," the Rosoboronexport official said.
"Beyond a doubt, the Su-35 aircraft are a potential product to promote to Turkey, but the Turkish side has not yet finally decided on the aircraft that will be linked to the cooperation program. But we are ready for developing cooperation in this way. In any case, the promotion of not only air defense systems but also aircraft and helicopters is an additional offer in the Turkish direction," he said.
Spokesperson for Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation Valeria Reshetnikova said in March this year that Russia was ready to hold negotiations with Turkey on the potential delivery of Su-35 and Su-57 fighter aircraft, if it was asked to do so.
Discussions on Turkey’s possible purchase of Russian fighter aircraft intensified after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid a visit to Moscow in August 2019. The Turkish leader who attended the MAKS-2019 international aerospace show together with Russian President Vladimir Putin showed interest in the combat aircraft developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau. After that, Erdogan said he did not rule out purchasing Russian-made Su-35 and Su-57 fighters instead of US F-35 jets.
Russia ready to cooperate with Turkey on other projects in addition to S-400 air defense systems
In addition to S-400 ‘Tirumf’ medium-to-long-range air defense systems, Russia is ready to sell anti-aircraft missile complexes to Turkey for the S-400 protection, the Rosoboronexport official said.
"We continue working with Turkish partners [on the delivery of the second regiment set of S-400 systems to Turkey] and there are certain issues that must be completed. The Turkish side is interested in signing a contract for the second regiment set. Largely speaking, this is also a priority for Turkish colleagues. We are continuing talks not only on the S-400s because we have other projects, including the hardware that ensures their protection," he said.
Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport "has quite an interesting package of offers for the Turkish side," Gizunov said. "The Turkish customer is a priority for us," he added.
International Defense Industry Fair in Istanbul
The IDEF’21 international defense industry show opened at the Tuyap Exhibition Center in Istanbul on August 17 and will work until August 20. The defense industry show has been organized by the Turkish Defense Ministry under the auspices of the Turkish presidential administration and is running in Turkey’s largest city for the 15th time. It involves leading defense conglomerates, including some major Russian companies (Rosoboronexport, the Kalashnikov Group and the Almaz-Antey defense manufacturer integrated into the state tech corporation Rostec).
The defense show’s organizers told TASS that the Tuyap Exhibition Center would feature a broad range of products made by 1,236 defense contractors from 53 countries, including 536 Turkish firms. As many as 154 delegations from 79 countries are expected to participate in IDEF’21. A host of contracts are due to be signed at the arms show while innovations will also be presented at the defense industry exhibition.
Russia’s integrated exposition at the IDEF’21 exhibition has been prepared with the participation of the Russian trade mission in Turkey.