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Turkey second NATO member state to purchase S-400 complexes from Russia

Until recently, Greece was the only member of NATO boosting military cooperation with Russia
S-400 missile systems Vitaly Nevar/TASS
S-400 missile systems
© Vitaly Nevar/TASS

HANOI, January 23. /TASS/. A contract on the delivery of Russia’s S-400 air defense missile systems to Turkey has been signed, Russian officials said, adding that Turkey was the second NATO member state to purchase these systems.

"Two S-400 missile complexes are currently deployed to Syria, ensuring security at the Hmeymim and Tartus bases," Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said during his tour of the Southeast Asian states. "These are unique complexes with unsurpassed performance capabilities. This is the reason for making a contract on the delivery of the S-400 complexes to Turkey, which a NATO member," he added.

Sources in the Russian delegation accompanying the defense minister on the visit noted that Turkey was the second NATO member to purchase the Russian-made air defense missile systems. Until recently, Greece was the only member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization boosting military cooperation with Russia. In particular, the Greek Army is armed with the S-300 missile complexes.

"Other countries have also expressed their interest in purchasing the S-400 complexes, including states in the Middle East and Southeast Asia," Shoigu pointed out. "The relevant negotiations are currently underway," he added.

The Russian defense minister noted that Moscow was ready to share its experience in using weapons and military hardware in the fight against international terrorism in Syria. "First and foremost, this concerns our warplanes, weapons used by the Ground Forces and Special Operations Forces, as well as our defense complexes, which include not only the Pantsyr complexes but also the S-300 and S-400 systems," Shoigu said. "Not one of our meetings with foreign counterparts goes without discussing issues related to purchases of Russian weapons," he noted.

In September 2017, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Ankara had signed a contract with Moscow on purchasing the S-400 complexes and made an advance payment. Head of Russia’s Rostec State Corporation Sergei Chemezov said that the delivery would begin in March 2020.

S-400 system

The S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is the most advanced long-range antiaircraft 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 complex can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.

At present, only Russia’s Armed Forces are equipped with the S-400 systems. There are plans to supply them to four countries - China, Turkey, India and Saudi Arabia.