Russia and Turkey are discussing possible deliveries of Russia's Su-35 or Su-57 fighters, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
Erdogan attended the MAKS-2019 air show outside Moscow together with Russian President Vladimir Putin on August 27. Erdogan also expressed interest in Russia's newest MiG-35 fighter jet, as well as discussing the possible purchase of Russian Su-35 or Su-57 fighters.
"Negotiations [on Su-57] are underway, and they will continue. Representatives of our ministries remain in Russia after the MAKS-2019, and they are working there," the Turkish leader said.
"We will be acting, having put on the negotiating table our conditions on loans and joint production. If the United States does not change its stand [on delivering F-35 destroyers], we will look for a way out of the situation," Sputnik cited Erdogan as saying.
Professor at Kahramanmaraş Sütçü İmam University Togrul İsmayil, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Ankara's purchase of Russian fighters in exchange for the F-35 seems to be rather a political project than a military one. "Turkey is still a member of NATO. If the S-400 is a defensive system, and their purchase was acceptable, then the fighters are part of the attack system. Let me remind you that Turkey is allowed to use its own, non-standardized systems for defensive purposes, including, for example, Radio Detection and Ranging equipment and air defense systems. But the acquisition of Su-57 looks bad against the backdrop of joint actions with NATO - problems may arise already during exercises. Also, our pilots were trained according to Alliance standards, and this is a completely different system," he said.
"Moreover, if Turkey finally abandons the F-35, it will be a waste of money, because we invested in the production of these fighters and the training of Turkish pilots. Therefore, our negotiations with Russia are still political in nature, and it’s rather worth seeing a joint message of Ankara and Moscow to Washington that we will continue to expand our military-technical cooperation," the professor at Kahramanmaraş Sütçü İmam University said.
Head of the Analytical Section of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, Alexander Khramchikhin, in turn, said that with due political will, Russia will deliver Su-57 to Turkey without additional problems. "The situation is the same as with the S-400 - if one can sell air defense systems, one can also sell airplanes. In fact, we can say that this critical line in our military-technical cooperation has already been crossed, and there are no further restrictions, except for the sale of nuclear weapons," he noted.
At the same time, the expert agreed that at the moment negotiations are conducted only at the political level. "Erdogan’s statement itself does not mean that the deal will be completed. Moreover, its implementation may be delayed even if Ankara pays right now. It can be completed quickly only in the reverse order: first we deliver aircraft to Turkey, then we get money. But this is a matter of political decision," Alexander Khramchikhin concluded.