Turkey has taken the delivery of 120 surface-to-air guided missiles to be fired from its new Russian S-400 air defense systems.
"Turkey has received two S-400 battalions, more than 120 surface-to-air missiles, as well as auxiliary equipment, spare parts and tools," a military diplomatic source was quoted as saying by TASS on Monday.
Technology transfer, the source said, was not envisaged by the contract. The delivered missiles have a 20-month warranty maintenance period starting December.
The S-400 has been the apple of discord between Ankara and Washington, with the latter having tried persuading the former to pull out of a $2.5 billion deal with Russia for the systems, ever since it was signed in 2017.
The first batch of military equipment were delivered to Turkey in July 2019, and were deployed at the Mürted Airbase in Ankara. The US threatened sanctions and denied selling F-35 fighters to Turkey after the deliveries commenced. Ankara tested its S-400 systems against F-16 jets in late 2019, further infuriating the US.
Turkey’s National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on January 15 that the S-400s will be put to operation by May of this year.