Rosoboronexport has announced that it has sent a delegation to the current International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) in Istanbul that is going to hold talks with Turkey and other countries in that region on potential weapons deals.
"Currently, in the interests of Turkey, we provide after-sales support for [Mil] Mi-17 military transport helicopters and supply spares and accessories for Russian-made military products. At the moment this is our main form of cooperation, but we are also working actively to increase our armaments exports to Turkey. There is another important area as well - scientific and technological cooperation with the Turkish defense industry. Effectively, this is the future of our relationship in the defense sphere," a Rosoboronexport statement made available to Interfax quoted delegation leader Anatoly Aksenov as saying.
"The most promising areas of Russian-Turkish technological cooperation," Rosoboronexport said in its statement, "include joint projects to develop short-range surface-to-air missile systems, armored vehicles, tactical digital communications, orbital space systems, and various types of naval armaments. With the use of the findings of analyses of some of the latest armed conflicts, Rosoboronexport will hold presentations of armaments that countries in the region have the greatest demand for."
Rosoboronexport said it was referring to about 20 models, including the Yakovlev Yak-130 combat trainer aircraft, Kamov Ka-226T light multipurpose helicopter, Mil Mi-26T2 heavy transport helicopter, Mi-28NE attack helicopter, Ka-52 attack/scout helicopter, Beriev Be-200 amphibious aircraft, Antey-2500, Tor-M2E and Buk-M2E SAM systems, upgraded T-90S main battle tank, Terminator tank support fighting vehicle, and TOS-1A heavy flamethrower.
The naval arms to be shown by the Russian corporation include the Gepard 3.9 frigate, Amur-1650 submarine, and Mirazh and Mangust patrol boats.
Rosoboronexport will also offer programs for the after-sales upgrading of weapons, the statement said.
Russia has been taking part in IDEF fairs since 1995. In 2013, Rosoboronexport's booth was visited by more than 50 delegations from 17 countries, which "is evidence of high interest in Russian weapons in the region," the statement said.
It said the March 16, 1921, Treaty of Friendship and Brotherhood between Soviet Russia and Turkey could be considered the starting point of weapons trade between the two countries. After the signature of the accord, Russia began to provide the Turkish government with financial support and weapons.
Turkey's accession to NATO "did not become an obstacle" to Russian arms exports to Turkey, the statement said, and so today the Turkish armed forces' arsenals include BTR-80 armored personnel carriers, Mi-17 helicopters, anti-tank missile systems, and a variety of small arms imported from Russia.
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