According to Turkish officials, Turkey is close to reaching a deal with Moscow over the purchase of Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets as well as co-manufacturing some components of the Russian-made jets.
Turkish and Russian government officials are in an “advanced stage of negotiations” to finalize a potential deal on Russian-made Su-35 fighter aircraft, Turkish officials said.
“The talks have quite matured,” a senior Turkish procurement official told Defense News on the condition of anonymity. “A deal does not appear to be too distant.”
If penned, a Su-35 deal will be Turkey’s second major purchase of weapons systems from Russia. Unnerving its NATO allies, Turkey acquired the Russian-made S-400 long-range air defense system. The S-400s were delivered to the Turkish military in August.
The Turkish official said that although the final numbers may change during the negotiating process, Turkey could buy two squadrons (a batch of 48) Su-35s.
An aerospace industry specialist in Ankara said Moscow would probably price the fighter aircraft between $50 million and $70 million. “The potential Su-35 deal has strategic value for the Russians,” he said.
“Moscow may thus agree to give Ankara a favorable price reminiscent of the S-400 deal,” he added. Turkey agreed to pay $2.5 billion for two S-400 systems. The contract came with an international loan.
At a visit to MAKS-2019 on Aug. 27, Erdoğan was shown the newest generation of Russian stealth aircraft, the Su-57 fighter jet, Su-35 fighter jets, the Ka-52 military helicopter, and Mi-38 transport helicopter.
Soon after Erdoğan’s visit, Sergei Chemezov, the head of Russia’s state-owned manufacturer Rostec, said they would be willing to sell Russia’s top air superiority warplane to Turkey if Ankara “expresses the desire.”
After Turkey finalized its S-400 deal with Russia, the U.S. suspended Turkey’s partnership in the American-led, multinational Joint Strike Fighter consortium that builds the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet.