It seems evident now that the Russians are not opposed to some kind of a S-400 deal with Ankara, but we yet have to see what exactly the Turks will get for their $2.5 billion
A Turkish senior official has told Bloomberg on condition of anonymity that Turkey has agreed to pay $2.5 billion to Russia for four S-400 air defense batteries. The spokesman for Russia'a arms exporting company Rosoboronexport declined to comment. (Both sides had already confirmed last month the technical side of the deal was done, so only financial side was left.)
According to the Turkish official the first two batteries would be made in Russia, while the other two would be produced in Turkey after Russia transferred the necessary know-how
I had previously predicted the Russian-Turkish S-400 deal would not happen, at least not in the parameters Turkey wants. (I believe I called it "Turkey's S-400 Opium Dream".) If the deal this Turkish official described to Bloomberg goes through then I was dead wrong.
It seems evident now that the Russians are not opposed to some kind of a S-400 deal with Ankara, but we yet have to see what the Turks can get for their $2.5 billion.
Russia has also agreed to export the S-400 to India and China but it is believed that will be an export version with a few key limitations that the Russian version doesn't have. Most importantly it is believed the export version comes without the brand new 40N6 missile which gives the S-400 its impressive 400 kilometer range.
Also the Russians, including Putin, have repeatedly poured cold water on the idea that Turkey would be capable of building the S-400 even with Russian help. So we'll have to wait and see if Turkey will be actually making such systems or just assembling them from ready-made Russian kits.
In any case it's unlikely we'll see actual S-400s in Turkish hands too soon, seeing that India and China have still to receive any, though their deals were finalized in 2015.
In the grand scheme of things though, it seems clear the Russians have decided they'd rather see Turkey armed with the export version of their air defense system, whose capabilities they are intimately familiar with, rather than have Turks packing American/European missile launchers they don't know.
Especially if they can bag $2.5 billion and help drive a wedge between NATO and Turkey in the process.