Ankara expects to receive Russian-made S-400 air defense missile systems as soon as possible, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
“Turkey needs Russian S-400 air defense missile systems. Agreements concerning them have been completed. We hope that we will receive them as soon as possible,” Erdogan said as cited by the Anadolu news agency.
The Turkish leader pointed out that Ankara also needed the F-35 fifth generation fighter jets and would continue to make payments for them.
News about Russian-Turkish talks on the delivery of the S-400 systems first came in November 2016.
In September 2017, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Ankara had signed a contract with Moscow on purchasing the S-400 complexes and made an advance payment. Head of Russia’s Rostec State Corporation Sergei Chemezov said that the delivery would begin in March 2020.
Meanwhile, Washington has warned Ankara that in case it purchased the S-400 systems from Russia, the US may refuse to sell the F-35 fighters to Turkey.
The S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is the most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range ones, and can also be used against ground objectives. The S-400 complex can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.