Turkey signs major missile deal with Russian Federation

Aaron Brown
September 14, 2017

The S-400 system is an advanced Russian missile system created to detect, track, and destroy planes, drones, or missiles as far as 402 kilometers away.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that Turkey had already finalized and signed onto a purchase of Almaz-Antey S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems from Russian Federation.

The purchase of the surface-to-air missile defence batteries, Ankara's most significant deal with a non-NATO supplier, comes with Turkey in the throes of a crisis in relations with several Western states.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greets mayors from his ruling AK Party during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, September 13, 2017.

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Earlier on Tuesday both Ankara and Moscow confirmed that the contract of supply to Turkey of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems has progressed after Turkey paid a first installment under the deal. The Pentagon has already expressed its dissatisfaction with the arms deal. "Wait for you? We are taking security measures and will continue to do so", Erdogan said Wednesday while in Ankara, according to state-owned Anadolu Agency.

"We have relayed our concerns to Turkish officials regarding the potential purchase of the S-400". "This is a missile defense system that is going to be hosted by the Turkish air force, and the Turkish air force has no experience of anti-missile systems, therefore it is going to come with a significant number of Russian advisers, trainers, and operators and so on". He was referencing the US decision to arm the Kurdish YPG for the fight against ISIS in Syria, despite fierce protest by Turkey.

"The purchase of military equipment by Turkey is a sovereign choice which does not need to be commented (upon) by members of the Atlantic alliance", Foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes Romatet-Espagne said in response to a question on whether this was a blow to the alliance.

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