The delivery of the Russian-made S-400 missile systems to Turkey has begun, Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
"The first batch of components has been delivered to the Murted Air Base near Ankara in accordance with the S-400 contract," the statement reads.
News about Russian-Turkish talks on the delivery of the S-400 systems first came in November 2016. In September 2017, Erdogan announced that Ankara had signed a contract with Moscow on purchasing the S-400 systems and made an advance payment. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said later that Ankara would begin the deployment of the S-400 systems in October 2019. Russia’s Rostec State Corporation Sergei Chemezov said in December 2017 that the deal was worth $2.5 bln, TASS reports.
Meanwhile, the United States continues attempts to stop Turkey from purchasing the Russian missile systems. Washington has stated that it will exclude Ankara from the F-35 program if Turkey buys the S-400 systems.
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.