MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. /TASS/. Turkey is acquiring Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to use them in accordance with their designation, Head of Turkey’s Defense Industry Ismail Demir said in a live broadcast of the Turkish NTV television channel on Monday.
"As we have always said, if some system is purchased, this is done for its operation [according to its designation]. That’s it. As for putting the systems into operation, the world has passed a certain stage and the pace of work has slowed and trips have been limited. All this has affected the deployment of S-400s," he said, commenting on the discussion ongoing in Turkey that S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems may not be activated and put on combat duty.
Ankara and Moscow continue negotiations on further implementing the contract on the delivery of S-400 air defense missile systems, he said.
As the Turkish defense industry head said, the parties reached "an agreement in principle on the delivery of the second [regiment] set," while the roadmap of the deal includes the issues of "the transfer of technologies and joint production."
Touching upon Turkey’s talks with the United States on the purchase of Patriot air defense systems, he said that Ankara "is ready to continue work upon receiving specific proposals but this issue has not gone any further."
Turkey continues talks with France and Italy on the prospects of buying and jointly producing air defense missile systems, Demir said.
Russia announced in September 2017 that it had signed a $2.5 billion deal with Turkey on the delivery of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Ankara. Under the contract, Ankara received a regiment set of S-400 air defense missile systems (two battalions). The deal also envisages partial transfer of production technology to the Turkish side.
Turkey is the first NATO member state to purchase such air defense missile systems from Russia. The deliveries of S-400 launchers to Turkey began on July 12, 2019.
Turkey’s decision to acquire the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile systems has caused a sharply negative reaction from the United States and NATO as a whole. The United States is not abandoning its attempts to make Turkey give up the Russian air defense systems.
As Turkey has not yielded to the pressure and has said that it will not give up the S-400 systems, Washington has excluded Ankara from the US program of developing the fifth-generation F-35 fighter-bomber.
The United States is also threatening Turkey with unilateral sanctions over the purchase of S-400 air defense systems but is in no hurry to take these steps out of fear of further worsening relations with a major NATO ally while Ankara warns it will not leave the imposition of these restrictions unanswered.
Head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev said on June 2 that Russia and Turkey are at an advanced stage of their talks on the delivery of the second regiment set of S-400 ‘Triumf’ anti-aircraft missile systems to Ankara,
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 weapons, 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.