The U.S. Senate adopted on Monday the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019, which obliges the Secretary of Defense to present a special report regarding the potential purchase of the S-400 air and missile defense system from Russia by the Turkish government.
No later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of the Authorization Act, “the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the status of the United States relationship with the Republic of Turkey,” the document said.
According to the Act, “the Secretary of Defense may not take any action to execute delivery of a foreign military sale for major defense equipment” to Tukey until the report is submitted.
The required report should include “an assessment of the potential purchase by the Government of Turkey of the S-400 air and missile defense system from the Russian Federation and the potential effects of such purchase on the United States-Turkey bilateral relationship, including an assessment of impacts on other United States weapon systems and platforms operated jointly with Turkey to include the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike aircraft; the Patriot surface-to-air missile system; the CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopter; the AH-1 Attack helicopter; the H-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter; and the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft,” the Senate said.
Earlier reports said that Ankara intends to purchase over 100 F-35 warplanes. The proposed measure may hinder the execution of the contract.
Russia’s S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is the latest long-range antiaircraft missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and surface targets. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 kilometers and at an altitude of up to 30 kilometers.
In November 2016, it was announced that Turkey and Russia were negotiating the contract for the supply of S-400 air defense systems. Russia confirmed the conclusion of the contract on September 12, 2017.