Russia Ready to Replace US F-35s with Su-57s if Ankara’s Deal with US Fails

Russia’s fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jets could be sold to Turkey if Ankara’s F-35 deal with the US fails, the chief of a Russian state tech corporation said as Washington halts plane deliveries following the S-400 standoff.

Sukhoi’s “fifth-generation Russian fighter jets [Su-57s] have outstanding qualities, and show promise for export,” Sergey Chemezov, head of a Russia’s state-owned defense conglomerate, Rostec, told Anadolu on Thursday.

Moscow is “ready to cooperate” if Ankara shows interest in purchasing the Russian planes, he added.

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The official hinted that Russia may greenlight the potential new deal if Turkey ditches the F-35 program with the Americans – a prospect which has generated intense speculation in recent weeks.

 

Washington initially agreed to sell Ankara 100 of its F-35 fighter jets, produced by Lockheed Martin and valued at $100 million each, but later halted delivery.

The future of the perennial cooperation is up in the air as the Pentagon says that the F-35 deal is “incompatible” with Turkey’s plans to buy S-400 air defense systems from Moscow.

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Turkey in turn insists that the Russian surface-to-air anti-missile systems pose no threat to NATO systems and has indicated that it will be looking for a “plan B” if the deal with US falls apart.

Ankara, being a F-35 key buyer, is also manufacturing parts for the aircraft and has invested $1.25 billion to date in the project. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan asserted that the whole F-35 program is “bound to collapse” without Turkish input.

Meanwhile, Chemezov said Russia is set to complete its S-400 deliveries, under the 2017 deal, by the end of this year and suggested that Turkey may be interested in the new-generation S-500 system which would be “without equal throughout the world.”

Su-57, Russia’s newest and only 5th generation supersonic stealth fighter jet made its maiden flight in 2010 and, since then, has been deployed for an anti-terrorist mission in Syria.

 

Source URL: RT News

 

 

 

 

 

 

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