MOSCOW, July 5. /TASS/. The deliveries of Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile systems to Turkey are proceeding on schedule, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
"On the part of the Kremlin, I can confirm that the S-400 deal is being implemented as planned," the Russian presidential spokesman said, commenting on the reports that the first delivery would take place next Sunday, July 7.
The Turkish TV Channel Haberturk reported on Friday, citing sources that the delivery of the Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Turkey could begin on July 7. According to the TV Channel’s data, the first S-400 system was due to be loaded onto a transport plane for its delivery next week.
As Haberturk also reported, nine Russian technical specialists will arrive in Turkey before Monday to help deploy S-400 missile systems. At the first stage, one S-400 set will be delivered to Ankara, the TV Channel reported.
Head of Turkey’s Defense Industries Directorate Ismail Demir said on Thursday that the S-400 deliveries might begin next week. The Russian side did not name the exact date for the commencement of the deliveries.
The first reports about the talks between Russia and Turkey on the deliveries of S-400 air defense missile systems emerged in November 2016. Russia confirmed in September 2017 that the relevant contract had been signed. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar earlier said that the deployment of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems might begin in October 2019.
CEO of Russia’s state hi-tech corporation Rostec Sergei Chemezov said in December 2017 that the S-400 deal was worth $2.5 billion.
The United States is making attempts to prevent Turkey from purchasing S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems. Washington earlier warned that it might deny Turkey the purchase of F-35 fighter-bombers, if Ankara pressed ahead with the S-400 deal.
The S-400 ‘Triumf’ is the most advanced long-range air defense missile system that went into service in Russia in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and can also be used against ground installations. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.