Turkey Buys from Russia; Also Mulls European Missile SystemsJanuary 11, 2018
Turkey continues to pursue a very political, twin-track approach to modernizing its ground-based long-range air defenses. At the end of December, it signed the anticipated contract to buy the S-400 system from Russia, despite pressure from NATO to abandon the deal. On January 5, as expected, it signed a project definition study contract with Eurosam for a future Long Range Air and Missile Defense System (LORAMIDS).
The signing was witnessed by President Macron of France and by President Erdogan of Turkey, during a visit by Erdogan to Paris. According to Eurosam, the 18-month study will lead to “a state-of-the-art military capability designed to counter the most challenging threats (stealth aircraft, UAVs, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles).”
Eurosam is the joint venture between MBDA (66 percent) and Thales (33 percent) that has produced the SAMP/T system that is now in service with the French and Italian armies. The two European countries have been considering a mid-life upgrade (MLU), to reach initial operating capability around 2024.