US claims Turkey won’t buy Russian missiles
ASPENMedia reports claiming that Turkey would buy Russian S-400 air defense systems were not true, U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford said at a security forum in Aspen, Colorado on July 23.
“There was a media report that was incorrect. They have not bought the S-400 air defense system from Russia. That would be concerning if they did do that, but they have not done that,” he reportedly said, according to Russian Sputnik news agency.
This contradicted with recent statements made by Turkish and Russian authorities, who said the talks were ongoing.
Turkey will cooperate with France and Italy on developing a national missile defense system project, Deputy Prime Minister Fikri Işık said on July 4, adding that the focus was on the “development of systems” rather than purchasing. However, the country will meet its immediate demands by buying S-400 systems from Russia, he had said.
“All technical work is completed, and we have arrived at the final decision point on buying S-400 systems from Russia,” Işık said.
Vladimir Kozhin, Russian presidential adviser for military and technical cooperation, said late June that Russia’s contract with Turkey on the delivery of S-400 long-range air defense missile systems had been agreed, while the issue of loan provision had yet to be settled.
The S-400 is Russia’s next-generation air defense system. It can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets including ballistic and cruise missiles.
It can track and engage up to 300 targets at the same time and has an altitude ceiling of 27 kilometers.