S-400 deliveries to Turkey to start next week

S-400 deliveries to Turkey to start next week

Turkey's Undersecretary for Defense Industries Ismail Demir said the deliveries of Russian S-400 missile defense systems may begin next week.

He recalled that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has set the delivery deadlines. "The first week of July is behind us. Next week, you shall witness the implementation of the S-400 [deal]," the TGRT channel cited Demir as saying.

Erdogan said in late June that S-400 deliveries to Turkey are set to begin in the latter half of July.

The news about the Russian-Turkish talks on the purchase of S-400 systems first came in November 2016. The Russian side confirmed that the contract had been signed on September 12, 2017. Concurrently, the Turkish President announced that Ankara had made an advance payment. Turkey is going to become the first NATO member state to purchase an air defense weapon of this class from Russia.

Washington warns that Turkey’s contract to purchase S-400 missile systems from Russia will severely damage bilateral relations and lead to unilateral U.S. sanctions against Ankara.

Earlier, the Pentagon informed that in order to remain in the F-35 fighter jet program, Turkey needs to drop the purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense systems.

The S-400 Triumf is an 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 complex can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.