Russia sends Su-57 stealth fighter to Turkey for ‘Technofest’

September 15, 2019 21:19
1 minute read.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inspect Sukhoi Su-57 fif

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inspect Sukhoi Su-57 fifth-generation fighter during the MAKS-2019 International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, Russia, August 27, 2019.. (photo credit: MAXIM SHIPENKOV/POOL VIA REUTERS/FILE PHOTO)

 Weeks after Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan went to Moscow and discussed the Su-57 stealth fighter with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at least one of the planes has landed in Turkey for a festival that will be held this week.

Russia’s TASS News Agency reported that the Sukhoi Su-57 arrived for Technofest 2019 and that the “multipurpose fighter jet Sukhoi Su-35 has arrived at Turkey’s Ataturk Airport to take part” as well. The Su-35S is a possible fit for Turkey as Ankara struggles to decide whether it will become more of a military partner with Russia, or stick with the US.

Turkey acquired Russia’s S-400 air defense system, even though it says it might want the US Patriot air defense system, too. It’s all part of a strategy by Turkey to try to consider both countries and what they might be able to give it. But Turkey risks being indebted now to Moscow and losing key support in Washington. Thinking it may get the best of both worlds could also end up meaning less of both.

Russia is pleased for the moment. The Su-35 is said to be a “Fourth plus plus” super-maneuverable multipurpose fighter jet and can carry up to eight tons of bombs and missiles. Moscow is marketing these planes and air defense around, hoping to increase its military profile throughout Asia and the Middle East. The Su-35 has also entered service in China, a report at National Interest noted in September 13.

Russia is eyeing a fighter jet deal with Turkey, TRT news says, but it is also awaiting the outcome of this week’s discussions about Idlib with Iran. Ankara could make the deal contingent on quiet in Syria. But Moscow has its hand on the faucet a bit with the S-400s, which are not yet operational in Turkey. They could be deployed by April 2020.

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