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Turkey to use S-400 systems as independent units, says presidential spokesman

He reiterated that Ankara had no intention to abandon the S-400 purchase

ANKARA, November 19. /TASS/. Ankara plans to use the Russian-made S-400 missile systems as independent units to protect the country’s security, Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said at a press conference on Tuesday.

"The S-400 systems won’t be integrated into NATO’s defense network. They will be used as separate units. The S-400 systems will thwart threats to our country," he said.

Kalin reiterated that Ankara had no intention to abandon the S-400 purchase.

S-400 deal

In September 2017, Erdogan announced that Ankara had signed a contract with Moscow on purchasing the S-400 systems and made an advance payment. Russia’s Rostec State Corporation Sergei Chemezov said in December 2017 that the deal was worth $2.5 bln. The first stage of the delivery process took place in July 2019.

The United States and NATO actively oppose Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 systems. On July 17, a White House press secretary said in a written statement that "Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible." "The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities," the statement specified.

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.