TASS, July 26. The US sanctions envisioning Turkey’s expulsion from the F-35 fighter-bombers creation program, will not get in the way of Ankara’s doing everything possible to ensure its security, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
"Pulling [Turkey] out of the F-35 program will not prevent us from ensuring the security of the country in the face of any threats," the Hurriyet newspaper quotes him as saying.
He added that the S-400 missile systems purchased from Russia will be deployed in April 2020.
In September 2017, Russia confirmed that the parties had signed a contract worth $2.5 billion to supply S-400 for Turkey. Under the contract, Ankara will get 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. The first procurements were delivered on July 12.
The United States and NATO have been making vigorous attempts to prevent Turkey from purchasing Russia's S-400 missile systems. On July 17, the White House press secretary said in a statement that Turkey’s decision to acquire Russian-made S-400 air defense missile systems rendered Ankara’s further participation in the US F-35 fighter-bombers program impossible.