Turkey’s S-400 deal may tip the Nato-Russia scale

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Turkey’s deal to purchase two batteries of the Russian S-400 air defence missile system – estimated to be worth $2.5bn – has followed months of rumours surrounding the purchase and its resulting controversies.

Until November 2015, reports suggested Turkey was showing an interest in purchasing Chinese air and missile defence system FD-2000. Then came reports that Turkey had cancelled this $3.4bn deal in favour of developing a long range missile defence system. While seemingly a respite for Nato countries, who at the time raised multiple objections to a Chinese partnership, the subsequent pivot towards Russia has proved an equally concerning move.

The S-400 can detect track and destroying aircraft, drones, and cruise and ballistic missiles, undeniably enhancing Turkey’s the air defence capability in a significant way. The system has advanced radar system and software, while its interceptor missile can counter exa-atmospheric targets.

Nato’s objections to the potential Chinese option argued that Beijing would be able to gather information on the Alliance’s missile defence capability as Turkey’s system would be integrated with those of other regional states. Such a back-end insight could enable Chinese forces or others to develop effective counter measures against the wider defence shield. Even more concerning was the initial selection of China Precision Machinery Import and Export, a company once sanctioned by the US for selling missile-related technologies to Iran in 2013

Read more : DefenceIQ, 09.11.2017