Russia will accelerate the delivery of S-400 missile defense systems to early 2020 upon a request from Ankara.
"Turkey expressed a wish to accelerate its implementation and we managed to find the most appropriate solution as we agreed to accelerate the contract’s implementation. So I think we will begin to fulfill it sometime in early 2020," Vladimir Kozhin, a presidential aide on military cooperation told Rossiya 24 TV channel today.
Last December, Turkey announced that it had concluded an agreement with Russia for the purchase of two S-400 systems by 2020. The period of exact delivery was not specified but various reports said this would happen in the 2020-2022 time frame.
Turkey’s President Erdogan had express apprehension that Washington might impose sanctions against Ankara for buying equipment from Russia in addition to being embroiled in Western sanctions against Russian defence entities already in place over Moscow’s actions in Crimea.
In an angry outburst against the United States, Erdogan had said recently, “you claimed that the contact with Russia was a mistake. You also said that you might introduce sanctions. We are not going to be accountable to you. We will proceed along the right way without any concessions for the sake of achieving our own goals.”
The S400 system is composed of at least one mobile operation command center and 8 launcher and 32 missiles. S-400 deliveries have started to China, being the first foreign customer to receive one of the world’s most advanced missile defence systems.