The Sukhoi Hypothesis resurfaces in Turkey

After a tense end of the year, in particular due to the implementation of sanctions imposed by the US Congress, the Turkish authorities had chosen to take a more conciliatory profile on the international scene, in appearance at least, so as to attract the good graces of the new American president Joe Biden, and to lift the American and European sanctions which severely hamper the smooth running of the country's defense programs. If some have indeed changed their posture, such as Europe which, under pressure from Berlin, suspended the implementation of the symbolic sanctions decided at the end of December in order not to "break the positive dynamic observed in Ankara", it was not not the case with the Biden administration, which has followed since arriving at the White House ua policy of balance of power with Ankara based on the strategy of the empty chair. For the United States, Ankara must start by proving its real intentions, and repairing the "damage" it has committed in recent months, before it can hope for a change of position from Washington.

Regardless, Ankara's attempt to normalize its relations with the United States has evidently come to an end now. Indeed, the hypothesis of an increased rapprochement with Moscow has recently resurfaced in the official Turkish discourse, with the acquisition of new S-400 system batteries, as well as the acquisition of Russian Su-35 and Su-57 fighters to replace the exhausted F4 and F16 of its air force. Thus, according to the Turkish Minister of Industry, Mustafa Varank, negotiations for the acquisition of a second S-400 battery have progressed well, and discussions have even started for a local production of the flagship anti-aircraft system of the Russian exports At the same time, the Russian authorities recalled, through a statement by industrial military cooperation spokeswoman Valeria Reshetnikova, that Moscow remained ready to offer its Sukhoi fighters to the Turkish authorities. For Ankara, the Russian proposal, which concerns short-term Su-35 fighters, and 5th generation Su-57 fighters in the medium term, represents the opportunity not only to replace the 100 F35s that were to be acquired from the States. United, but to respond to the acquisition of Rafale by Athens.

In addition to the Su35 presented as a short-term intermediate solution, Moscow also offers to export its 57th generation Su-5 to Ankara

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