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    Turkey may buy Russian air defense systems, combat helicopters

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    Turkey has expressed interest in buying air defense systems and combat helicopters from Russia, a Russian defense industry official said on Monday.

    MOSCOW/ISTANBUL, April 27 RIA Novosti) - Turkey has expressed interest in buying air defense systems and combat helicopters from Russia, a Russian defense industry official said on Monday.

    Russia will exhibit over 120 types of weaponry at the IDEF 2009 arms show in Istanbul on April 27-30. The biennial exhibition has been organized by the Turkish defense industry since 1993.

    "Turkey is mostly interested in buying [Russian] short- and medium-range air defense systems and combat helicopters," said Anatoly Aksenov, a senior adviser to the general director of Russian arms export monopoly Rosoboronexport.

    Aksenov, who leads the Russian delegation at the IDEF 2009 exhibition, said several contracts in the sphere of military-technical cooperation could be signed between the two countries after the show.

    Turkish media reported last year that Ankara was planning to buy 32 used Mi-28 Havoc helicopters from Russia in a deal worth a total of $1 billion.

    Russian and Turkish defense ministers met in February and agreed to boost bilateral military-technical ties despite the fact that Turkey is a NATO member.

    Turkey has been implementing large-scale overhaul of its armed forces since the mid-1990s and is planning to complete the modernization program by 2020.

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