Turkish defense chief says Ankara will get first batch of S-400s in 2019
The first batch of Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems will be delivered to Turkey in 2019, A Haber TV channel quoted Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli as saying.
“The first delivery of S-400s will take place in 2019,” the TV channel quoted the minister who spoke at a meeting of the inter-parliamentary commission for the budget.
In his speech, Canikli noted again that Syria’s Afrin Canton “poses a constant threat to Turkey’s national security.” He specified that the threat is coming from “the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the People’s Protection Units located there, and it should be ended.”
On September 12, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara had signed an agreement with Moscow on buying the S-400 systems, with an advance payment already made. On November 2, Director General of Russia’s Rostec corporation Sergey Chemezov told TASS that the contract with Turkey on the sales of S-400 systems exceeded $2 bln. Turkish Undersecretary for Defense Industry Ismail Demir said the delivery of S-400s would begin within two years. On November 11, Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli officially announced that the issue on purchasing Russia’s S-400 systems had been sorted out.
Russia’s S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is the latest 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 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. Deputy Commander of Russia’s Aerospace Force Viktor Gumenny said last April that Russia’s S-400 air defense systems had begun receiving missiles capable of destroying targets in near space.