Turkey’s defense ministry reported that it has received the first delivery of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system despite US pressure and threat of sanctions.
“The delivery of the first shipment of parts of the S-400 long-range regional air missile defense system began as of July 12, to Murted airbase in Ankara.
Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation confirmed that it had started delivering the systems to Turkey and that the shipments would continue as per an agreed schedule.
Turkish broadcasters showed footage of a Russian Air Force AN-124 cargo plane at the Murted airbase. According to Turkey’s Defense Industry Directorate, the delivery of parts belonging to the system will continue in the coming days.
“Once the system is completely ready, it will begin to be used in a way determined by the relevant authorities,” it said.
The development is set to escalate tensions with the United States which has warned of sanctions over the deal.
Washington says the S-400’s could compromise its Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets, an aircraft Turkey is helping to build and paid for, but the US regime blocks the delivery of the JSF fighter jets.
The USA has threatened to expel Turkey from the F-35 program under sanctions. Ankara has responded to US threats to cut it off from the F-35 program by saying that it would go against the terms of the deal to manufacture the fifth-generation fighter.
Washington has already halted training of Turkish pilots in the United States on the aircraft.
Moscow and Ankara finalized the agreement on the delivery of the S-400 in December 2017 even as US officials warned that the move would damage Turkey’s ability to work with NATO.
The medium-range and long-range S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile system was developed as an all-weather weapon can shoot down aircraft at a distance of up to 250 km and intercept ballistic missiles up to 60 km away.
PressTV / ABC Flash Point WW III News 2019.