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Russia 'may consider' giving air defence systems to Turkey
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Oct 14, 2016

Taurus Systems delivers KEPD 350K missiles to South Korea
Washington (UPI) Oct 14, 2016 - Taurus Systems, a joint MBDA-Saab Dynamics venture, has delivered the first lot of KEPD 350K standoff missiles to South Korea's air force, MBDA announced Friday.

The KEPD 350K missiles are being integrated on to the service's F-15K fighter aircraft.

The weapon system will provided the service with the most advanced standoff and deep strike capability currently available on the world market, the company said in a statement.

KEPD 350K is an enhanced and upgraded version of the 350 variant, which has been in service with the German air force since 2005 and with the Spanish air force since 2009.

The precision-strike missile is developed to fly through dense air defenses at very low terrain-following levels and for the engagement of high-value targets.

It contains a dual stage warhead system, which combines penetration capabilities for hard and deeply buried targets with blast-and-fragmentation capabilities against point and area targets.

The Kremlin said Friday it "may consider" supplying Turkey with air defence systems in a further warming of ties after a feud over the downing of a Russian jet last year.

President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks in Istanbul on Monday in which the prospect of supplying Ankara with air defence systems was brought up, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies.

"Various missile defence systems were mentioned and if the Turkish side so desires, Russia may consider the possibility of supplying Turkey in various ways," Peskov was quoted as saying.

Turkey's private NTV channel, citing Turkish foreign ministry sources, said earlier this week that Ankara was ready to accept an offer from Russia for a Turkish tender to build long-range air defence systems.

Turkish officials, contacted by AFP, said they had no information about any development.

Putin's visit to Turkey -- his first since the November 2015 downing of a Russian war plane by Ankara sparked the worst dispute between the countries since the Cold War -- saw each side pledge to step up cooperation in all areas including defence and technology.

The Kremlin strongman on Monday hinted that concrete measures would be taken to reinforce defence ties with Ankara.

"We are ready to continue this (military-technical) cooperation and boost it with serious projects of mutual interest," Putin said.

"Proposals from both sides are being studied, and I am certain they have all the grounds to be carried out."

Ankara last year cancelled a preliminary deal on air defence systems with China amid concerns from its NATO partners.

At the time, Turkish officials said Ankara had instead an ambitious plan to build a Turkish-made missile defence system.

Despite the warming ties, Moscow and Ankara remain far apart on the conflict in Syria, with Russia supporting leader Bashar al-Assad and Turkey wanting him out.

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