First batch of S-400 delivered to Turkey
The delivery of the Russian-made S-400 missile systems to Turkey has begun, the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement today.
"The first batch of components has been delivered to the Murted Air Base near Ankara in accordance with the S-400 contract," TASS cited the statement as saying.
The United States continues attempts to stop Turkey from purchasing the Russian missile systems. Washington has stated that it will exclude Ankara from the F-35 program if Turkey buys the S-400 systems.
The S-400 Triumf is the most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range ones, and can also be used against ground objectives. The S-400 system can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 35 km.
The first customers of the S-400 system were Belarus and China. Besides Turkey, Russia has also agreed to sell the S-400 system to India.
A military observer of the TASS news agency, retired Colonel Viktor Litovkin, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that S-400 will help Turkey to bolster its defenses. "These systems will protect certain objects and even cities of Turkey from attacks. Turkey will feel safer under the protection of the S-400 missile system," he said.
In the future, Russia and Turkey may well expand military-technical cooperation. "Turkey can buy many types of military equipment from Russia, including Su-35 and even Su-57 airplanes. Of course, Turkey is a member of NATO, and it will need to either change standards or order military equipment with NATO standards to purchase Russian equipment. But this is not such a big obstacle as the need to fulfill the requirements of the NATO leadership," Viktor Litovkin noted.
"In general, we have been cooperating for years, and the Turks have long been buying our Kalashnikov assault rifles. Turkey also has plans to buy the S-500 and, moreover, to participate in the joint production of S-400 and S-500," the retired colonel added.
Head of the Analytical Section of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, Alexander Khramchikhin, in turn, announced the importance of the S-400 for Turkey's defense due to the ultra-modern nature of the Russian complexes. "S-400 will significantly affect Turkey's defense capability, since the Turkish ground defense is archaic and equipped with outdated technology," he explained.
Speaking about the continuation of Russian-Turkish military-technical cooperation, Alexander Khramchikhin expressed the opinion that its prospects will depend on further bilateral political interaction between Moscow and Ankara. "In the first place it's a political issue," the head of the Analytical Section of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis concluded.