Erdogan Hails Delivery of S-400 System to Turkey

Clay Curtis
July 16, 2019

"Despite the U.S. urges Turkey to abandon the purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, they do not give a guarantee that they will sell us Patriot air defense systems", he added. State broadcaster TRT said on Friday that the system would be assembled at Mürted by a joint Turkish-Russian technical team and installed in several locations across Turkey. And this weekend, Leonid Slutsky-the head of the foreign affairs committee of Russia's lower house of parliament-said the controversial agreement is "the first shot" in a new era of military cooperation between Moscow and Ankara.

The S-400-code named the SA-21 Growler by NATO-is considered one of the most potent anti-air weapons in the world.

Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey are not a new phenomenon. "S-400 and a more advanced armament system from Russian Federation will definitely appear in the region". He stressed that despite appeals from the US, Turkey will not abandon the purchase of the S-400.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a controversial Russian missile defence system will be fully deployed in April 2020 despite the threat of USA sanctions, adding the next step would be to jointly produce S-400s with Moscow.

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He pointed out that in 2017 Turkey tried to purchase United States made Patriot defence missiles, but the Congress refused the deal forcing Ankara to look elsewhere for its defence needs.

According to Turkish media, over 100 Turkish troops have been sent to Russian Federation to undergo training on the system, and Erdogan said that the "number may be increased 10-fold".

But US government officials said otherwise. In addition, the USA threatened sanctions over the purchase, with Turkey responding that any sanctions would be met in kind. In addition, Washington announced in June that it would not accept Turkish pilots to train on the F-35 jet unless Ankara abandoned its agreement with Russian Federation to purchase the S-400.

The U.S. has repeatedly warned Turkey that it will impose sanctions on the NATO-member country and exclude it from the F-35 stealth fighter jet program if Ankara doesn't drop its S-400 purchase.

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