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8 Jun, 2020 13:49

‘We bought it to use it, full stop’: Turkey awaits MORE S-400s as it activates 1st of its new systems, defense industry chief says

‘We bought it to use it, full stop’: Turkey awaits MORE S-400s as it activates 1st of its new systems, defense industry chief says

Ankara is just a few formalities away from receiving a second batch of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems, Turkey’s top official in charge of the military industry said, adding that the first batch have been commissioned.

Ankara and Moscow have reached “an agreement in principle” on the second S-400 delivery, Ismail Demir, head of Turkey’s Defense Industries, revealed to news outlet NTV this Monday. Both sides are now concluding talks on “technical issues,” including technology transfer and joint production of the famed system. 

The Turkish military, which received its first S-400 shipment last year, is proceeding to activate them, despite the Covid-19 epidemic still blighting the country, Demir noted. The works to bring the missile systems online will be completed anyway, he affirmed. 

As I’ve always said, if a system is being bought, it is put to use, full stop.

The successor to the time-tested S-300 family, the S-400s have been used by the Russian, Indian, Chinese and Belarusian militaries for quite some time. The system, roughly analogous to the American Patriots, is valued due to its ability to engage multiple targets at distances of up to 400km, and to quickly change firing positions during combat.

Turkey secured the deal with Russia back in 2017, as has received four batteries as of 2020. Though a long-time US ally within NATO, Ankara became a black sheep in that defense bloc because of the accord, with Washington suspending it from the list of contributors to the F-35 program and threatening sanctions if Turkey didn’t backpedal on the deal.

Ankara repeatedly slammed its expulsion and hit back at the decision, insisting that it was an affront to the country’s right to choose hardware from non-NATO suppliers. Simultaneously, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan teased the possibility of buying Russian-made jets if the F-35 deal with the US cannot be revived.

In the meantime, Ankara has signaled that it is still willing to procure the Patriots and shorter-range European-made air defense systems.

Also on rt.com Expelling Ankara from F-35 program will impact troubled jet production due to lack of Turkish-made parts – report

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