MOSCOW, July 12. /TASS/. The second Russian military transport aircraft carrying the S-400 missile systems will depart for Turkey soon, a military diplomat told TASS on Friday.
"The Russian Aerospace Force’s military transport aircraft carrying parts of a S-400 regiment set has arrived in Turkey. Another plane will soon deliver the second batch of equipment to the country," he said. "The third batch, containing more than 120 guided missiles of various types, will be dispatched later by sea. It is expected to happen at the end of the summer," the diplomat added.
According to him, the S-400 regiment set for Turkey had already been manufactured.
The Turkish Defense Ministry announced the beginning of the S-400 deliveries earlier on Friday. "The first batch of components has been delivered to the Murted Air Base near Ankara in accordance with the S-400 contract on July 12," the statement reads.
News about Russian-Turkish talks on the delivery of the S-400 systems first came in November 2016. In September 2017, Erdogan announced that Ankara had signed a contract with Moscow on purchasing the S-400 systems and made an advance payment. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said later that Ankara would begin the deployment of the S-400 systems in October 2019. Russia’s Rostec State Corporation Sergei Chemezov said in December 2017 that the deal was worth $2.5 bln.
Meanwhile, the United States continues attempts to stop Turkey from purchasing the Russian missile systems. Washington has stated that it will exclude Ankara from the F-35 program if Turkey buys the S-400 systems.
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 system can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 35 km.