Turkey has received the first batch of Russian S-400 air defense system components on Friday, the Turkish ministry of defense has announced.
“Turkey received the first batch of S-400 air defence systems components. The deliveries are sent to the Murted air base in Ankara province", the Turkish Defence Ministry said.
Russia and Turkey penned a $2.5 billion agreement on the sale of four battalion sets of S-400s to Turkey in late 2017.
The announcement by the ministry has come after the US Department of Defense threatened to remove Ankara from the Lockheed Martin F-35 program on July 10.
“The Department of Defense will remove Turkey from the F-35 joint strike fighter program if the nation accepts delivery of the Russian S-400 air defense system,” Katie Wheelbarger, the acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, said, on Wednesday.
According to the Pentagon, the NATO alliance and nations partnering in developing and fielding the F-35 are unified in their opposition to Turkey fielding the Russian system.
The concern is that the S-400 could be used to gather data on the capabilities of the F-35, and that the information could end up in Russian hands, officials explained.
"We offered the opportunity to them to buy the Patriot [air defense system] numerous times in a more generous package than we've offered anybody else, and they did not sign up for it," Wheelbarger added.
Washington has also halted the training of Turkish pilots of the F-35 fighter jets in addition to threatening economic and other military sanctions against Ankara.
Turkey may be considering placing the S-400 air defence systems in Qatar or Azerbaijan as a way out of its impasse with Washington. “The authorities are still examining options about where the S-400s will be placed, with discussions previously held about deploying them in Qatar or Azerbaijan to avoid exacerbating Turkish-US tensions over the purchase,” spokesman for the Turkish president was quoted as saying by
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Turkey is likely to deploy the first of the two Russian-made S-400 batteries in Ankara while another of those batteries will be installed at a “strategically important location” in the eastern and south-eastern region of Turkey, sources have revealed. “Places where S-400 will be deployed have been determined,” Ömer Çelik, ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) spokesperson Ömer Çelik was quoted as saying by Daily Sabah last week
Russia has completed training the Chinese military personnel on the use of S-400 air defense systems and has planned to deliver second batch of the systems to Turkey in 2020. Moscow began shipping the S-400s to China, contract for which was signed in 2014, earlier this month
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Turkeys expulsion from the F-35 fighter programme will inevitably entail legal action and seriously inflate the price of the project, the countrys former Foreign Minister said Tuesday. "Turkey is a member of a consortium that manufactures the F-35 stealth jets
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The eighth plane carrying components of Russian S-400 air defence systems arrived in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Monday. “The delivery of S-400 parts to Turkey continues
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