According to the Turkish defence ministry, the first shipment of the Russian S-400 missile system has arrived in Turkey, moving the NATO member closer to a new standoff with the United States.
The ministry said in a statement that “the first group of equipment” of the advanced air defence systems was delivered to the Murted airbase outside the capital, Ankara.
“The delivery of parts belonging to the system will continue in the coming days,” Turkey’s defence industry directorate said separately.
“Once the system is completely ready, it will begin to be used in a way determined by the relevant authorities.”
#BREAKING: Half of the components of the first S-400 SAM battery of #Turkey was delivered at Akıncı Air Base of #Turkish Air Force at #Ankara onboard an An-124-100 of #Russia Air Force's 224th Flight Unit with RA-82038 register early morning today. pic.twitter.com/Ypmq1RtumA
— Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) July 12, 2019
The Russian S-400 advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system, also known as the SA-21 Growler, has arrived in Turkey.
The components of the first S-400 missile system battery of Turkey was delivered at Akıncı Air Base of Turkish Air Force at Ankara onboard an An-124-100 military transport aircraft of Russia Air Force’s 224th Flight Unit with RA-82038 register early morning today, according to military analyst Babak Taghvaee.
The United States has warned Turkey it will face economic sanctions if it goes ahead with the purchase of a Russian missile defense system. It has also said Turkey won’t be allowed to participate in the program to produce the high-tech F-35 fighter jets.
Turkey has refused to bow to U.S. pressure, insisting that choosing which equipment to purchase is a matter of national sovereignty.
News about Russian-Turkish talks on the delivery of the S-400 systems first came in November 2016. In September 2017, Erdogan announced that Ankara had signed a contract with Moscow on purchasing the S-400 systems and made an advance payment.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said later that Ankara would begin the deployment of the S-400 systems in October 2019. Russia’s Rostec State Corporation Sergei Chemezov said in December 2017 that the deal was worth $2.5 bln.