Loading of the Russian S-400 missile system for shipment to Turkey can begin as soon as on July 7, Haberturk TV channel reported on Friday, citing sources.
As per information obtained from the channel, the first mount is planned to be loaded on a cargo aircraft this Sunday to be sent to Turkey next week. At the same time, nine Russian technical experts who will be engaged in deploying the missile system will arrive in Turkey by Monday. The first stage will see Ankara receiving one missile system, the TV channel reports.
On Thursday, Turkey's Undersecretary for Defense Industries Ismail Demir pointed out that S-400 supplies could begin next week. The Russian side did not specify the precise date of the supplies, TASS reports.
The news about the Russian-Turkish talks on the purchase of S-400 system first came in November 2016. Moscow confirmed that the contract had been signed on September 12, 2017. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Ankara had made an advance payment.
Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar said that the deployment of the S-400 system would begin in October 2019. According to Russian Rostec Director General Sergei Chemezov, the contract cost is $2.5 billion. Turkey is the first NATO member state to buy the missile system from Russia.
The United States has been taking vigorous efforts to prevent Turkey from purchasing Russia’s S-400 air defense system. Earlier, the Pentagon stated that Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 system jeopardized Ankara’s participation in a program on creating advanced US F-35 multirole fighters.
Russia’s S-400 ‘Triumf’ [NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler] is the latest long-and medium-range surface-to-air missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, and can also be used against ground-based installations. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of up to 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km under intensive enemy fire and jamming.