Initial delivery of S-400 systems by air to continue until July 23
Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
The initial delivery of the Russian S-400 defense missile systems by air will continue until July 23 for parts of the Russian batteries, its launchers and the electronic equipment of radar systems, which will enable the final integration of the missiles when they arrive in Turkey, a Turkish official has told Hürriyet Daily News.
The 13th plane arrived in Turkey on July 17 to deliver components of the long-range air defense systems. The missiles are planned to be dispatched by sea, according to a military source, Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported.
Turkey on July 12 received the first shipment of the Russian S-400 air defense systems. Since then, cargo flights from Russia have been arriving on Mürted Air Base in the capital Ankara.
The deployment of the first batch of the systems will be completed by the end of the year and total deployment will finalize until April 2020, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said earlier.
Talks over the S-400 systems between Ankara and Moscow commenced in November 2016.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in September 2017 announced that Turkey and Russia signed an agreement regarding the procurement of the S-400s.
Tensions between the United States and Turkey have escalated in recent months over the purchase of the Russian-made S-400s, which Washington has said will jeopardize Turkey’s role in the F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger sanctions.
Following protracted efforts to purchase an air defense system from the United States with no success, Ankara decided in 2017 to purchase the Russian system.
U.S. officials urged Turkey to buy U.S. Patriot missiles, arguing S-400s would be incompatible with NATO systems and expose the F-35s to possible Russian subterfuge.
Washington has warned Turkey that moving forward with the purchase would trigger sanctions under the Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, which was passed in 2017 to impose sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia and combat those countries’ influences across the globe.