Erdogan assesses Su-57 in Russia as more S-400s arrive in Turkey
Amid a state-level visit to Russia on Tuesday, Turkish President Tayyip Recap Erdogan assessed Russia’s new Su-57 stealth fighter close-up at an airfield near Moscow; on this same day, more S-400 air defense systems arrived in Turkey.
Whilst Turkey has placed no orders for the Su-57 yet, many analysts believe that the country’s armed forces will make purchases at some point in the future.
The argument for this is that given Turkey is dead-set on acquiring a 5th generation fighter, but was yet kicked out of the F-35 program after acquiring Russian S-400 systems, then the only other stealth multi-role fighter currently available for export is in fact the Su-57.
The precedent of Turkey, as a major NATO alliance member, purchasing cutting-edge military weapons from Russia has already be passed at this point.
The question becomes: what will actually stop Turkey from buying another such Russian-made system? After all, US threats failed to discourage Erdogan from buying the S-400.
Indeed, the very real possibility that Turkey may soon possess the Su-57 in addition to its S-400s, coupled with Tuesday’s pictures of Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin sharing ice-cream, just goes to show how much Turkey’s foreign policy and practical alliance interactions (with its membership in NATO seemingly nothing more than theory) have shifted in the last few years.
From shooting down a Russian tactical bomber over Syria in late-2015, to now buying one of Russia’s latest air defense systems in defiance of US demands, and then so possibility one day acquiring Russia’s latest fighter aircraft design, analysts can only wonder what the future holds for Turkey under Erdogan.