ANKARA, July 4. /TASS/. Ankara plans to make a wide use of Russian S-400 missile systems to ensure the country’s security, Turkish President’s Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Thursday.
"The S-400 systems will soon be supplied to Turkey. They will be extensively used," he said in an interview with Turkey’s NTV television channel.
Turkey’s media reported earlier that Ankara was looking at deploying S-400 systems in Qatar or Azerbaijan allegedly seeking to avoid strains in relations with the United States.
"The S-400 systems pose no threat to Turkey’s security system that is integrated into NATO," Kalin stressed, adding that specialists from the country’s national defense ministry were looking at options for the deployment of the Russian systems.
The media reported in November 2016 that talks were underway on possible sales of Russian S-400 systems to Turkey. The Russian side confirmed that the contract had been signed in September 2017. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said back then that the deployment of S-400 systems would begin in October 2019.
According to Rostech, a Russian state-run hi-tech corporation, Director General Sergei Chemezov, the contract cost is 2.5 billion US dollars.
The United States has been seeking to break down the deal. It has repeatedly warned Turkey that in case it buys the Russian missile systems it would not get F-35 fighter jets.
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 system can hit aerodynamic targets at a range of up to 400 kilometers (249 miles) and tactical ballistic targets flying at a speed of 4.8 km/s (3 mi/s) at a distance of up to 60 kilometers (37 miles). Such targets include cruise missiles, tactical and strategic aircraft and ballistic missile warheads.
The system’s radars detect aerial targets at a distance of up to 600 kilometers (373 miles). The system’s 48N6E3 surface-to-air missiles can hit aerodynamic targets at altitudes of 10,000-27,000 meters and ballistic threats at altitudes of 2,000-25,000 meters.