Turkey completes deployment of 2nd batch of S-400s
A statement issued by the Defense Ministry recalled that the deployment process for the second battery of the S-400s to Mürted Air Base near Ankara started on Aug 27. The delivery of the first batch of the S-400 components took place between July 12 -25.
“The works for installation of the system and the training of the personnel continue. The system is planned to be activated by April 2020,” it said.
Turkey and Russia agreed to the former’s procurement of S-400 air defense systems in April 2017 after the Turkish government‘s demands to acquire Patriots systems from the United States received no response.
Opposing deployment of the Russian system, U.S. officials argued that they would be incompatible with the NATO systems and expose its fifth generation, state-of-art F-35 jet to possible Russian subterfuge.
Turkey, however, emphasized that the S-400 would not be integrated into the NATO systems, thus had no chance to pose any threat to the alliance or its armaments.
Turkey even asked to set up of a commission to clarify any technical issues. But U.S. has, so far, not responded to this proposal.
The S-400 system is seen as one of the most advanced missile systems in the world, capable of tracking several targets simultaneously.
Turkey ‘may buy Patriots from US’
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that Ankara will discuss purchasing U.S. Patriot missiles in a meeting between the two countries’ leaders later this month.
“I said no matter what package of ... S-400s we get, we can buy from you a certain amount of Patriots,” Erdoğann told the Reuters news agency in an interview in Istanbul on Sept. 13.“But I said we have to see conditions that at least match up to the S-400s.”
Erdoğan had earlier talked about buying Patriots with U.S. Donald Trump in a telephone call. The two leaders will discuss the issue in more detail at the UN General Assembly meetings in New York later this month.
“In my opinion, a country like the U.S. will not want to hurt its ally Turkey anymore. This is not a rational behavior,” Erdogan said, expressing hope that his personal bond with Trump would overcome the current crisis between two countries.
“This is not an offense, but a defense system. Turkey’s needs such a defense system,” he said.