How Russian arms sales help to keep the Gulf divided

June 11, 2018

Middle East Eye:

Military experts refer to the Russian-made S-400 SAM (surface-to-air missile) system as beyond compare, with one calling it “the most capable and lethal long-range air defense missile system on the planet”.

Nicknamed the Growler, this portable weapons system can engage virtually any aerial target, from ballistic missiles to stealth fighter jets to unmanned aerial vehicles, at a range of up to 400 kilometres. It is simply the best. The highly touted American Patriot system doesn’t even come close.

So it is not surprising that the Russians are finding ready buyers, among them Turkey. The Turks have signed a $2.5bn deal, much to the chagrin of the US. Turkey is a key NATO member and the idea that it would reach out to the Russians has US politicians fuming, so much so that the US Senate is considering killing off a deal to sell 100 F-35 fighter jets to the Turks, as well as threatening sanctions.

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