Turkish President Recep Erdogan says his country will cooperate on the production of Russia's S-500 surface-to-air missile system, a move that is sure to draw new criticism from the United States and its other fellow NATO members. Turkey is already increasingly at risk of getting kicked out of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program over its planned purchase of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems. The S-500 announcement also follows Russia's offer to sell Turkey Su-57 advanced fighter jets if its F-35 deal collapses, yet another example of how the Kremlin has been steadily working to pull Ankara into its orbit in recent years.
Erdogan revealed the plans to work with Russia on producing the S-500 during a televised question and answer session with university students in the city of Istanbul on May 18, 2019. The Turkish President had suggested there was a possibility of Turkey supporting the S-500 program in March 2019. He did not clarify in either case whether this meant that Turkey will also be buying this air defense system itself, but it is hard to see why the country would decide to locally produce components of an advanced weapon system that it doesn't plan to buy for its own use. READ MORE...
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