Turkish S-400 System to be Operationalized in April 2020

  • Our Bureau
  • 01:28 PM, November 17, 2019
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Turkish S-400 System to be Operationalized in April 2020

Turkey's S-400 systems will be put to service by April 2020, said Ismail Demir, head of the Turkish Defense Industry Directorate.

"We are planning to put the Russian systems into service in April 2020," Demir was quoted as saying by CNN Turk on Saturday.

Turkey became the first NATO-ally to strike a deal with Russia when it inked a $2.5 billion deal for S-400 air defense systems in 2017, irking the United States.

The S-400 has been the bone of contention between Turkey and the US, with the latter having tried to persuade Ankara to ditch the Russian systems for American Patriot missile defense system. After the deliveries of the S-400s began this July, Washington expelled Turkey from the F-35 program.

"Turkish specialists are continuing their training in Russia. We have reiterated more than once that there will be no Russian personnel [to operate the S-400]," he said adding that Turkey had no plans to put aside the S-400 missile defense systems having purchased them from Russia.

After talks with visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on November 13 in Washington, US President Donald Trump said they had agreed to instruct key ministers to take efforts to settle the situation around Ankara’s S-400 deal. He said he was convinced the two countries would be able to find a solution to the S-400 and F-35 matters.