The deliveries of the second battalion of Russian-made S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile systems to Turkey will begin on August 27, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced on Monday.
"The process of transporting and delivering the second battery of the S-400 to Turkey will begin tomorrow," the defense minister said in a live broadcast of NTV television channel, TASS reports.
The first reports about the talks between Russia and Turkey on the deliveries of S-400 air defense missile systems came in November 2016. Russia confirmed in September 2017 that the relevant contract worth $2.5 billion had been signed. 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.
Turkey is the first NATO member state to purchase such air-defense missile systems from Russia. The first battalion of S-400 air defense systems was delivered to Turkey’s Murted Air Base in Ankara by 30 military transport planes on July 12-25.
The United States and NATO have been making attempts to prevent Turkey from purchasing Russia's S-400 missile systems. Washington has warned on many occasions that it may impose sanctions on Turkey, if Ankara presses ahead with the S-400 deal.
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 missiles, 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.