close

News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

First shipment of Russian S-400 missile defence system completed, second planned: Turkey

S-400 missile air defence systems. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Ankara Jul 25, 2019, 03.45 PM (IST)

The first shipment of Russian S-400 defence systems to Turkey has been completed and a second shipment is now being planned to arrive in Ankara, Turkish military officials said on Thursday.

Turkey began accepting delivery of the S-400s earlier this month in a move that has strained ties with its NATO ally, the United States.

In response, Washington suspended Ankara from the F-35 jet programme over security concerns and has warned of possible US sanctions, but Turkey has so far dismissed the warnings.

On Thursday, the officials said Turkey was still engaged in talks with US officials to procure the Patriot defence system, which Washington had offered as an alternative to the S-400s.

They also said France would deploy one SAMP-T battery, a missile defence system developed by the Franco-Italian EUROSAM consortium, along the southern Turkish border.

"If the United States portrays an adversarial attitude towards us, we will take retaliatory measures, as we've told them. This is not a threat or a bluff," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with broadcaster TGRT Haber.

"We are not a country that will bow down to those who show a animosity towards Turkey," he said, reiterating a threat of retaliation that Turkey made last month.

Cavusoglu added that he did not expect the US administration to take such action.

"Trump does not want to impose sanctions on Turkey and he frequently says that his administration and the previous U.S. administration is also responsible for Turkey not being able to buy Patriot systems. This is true," Cavusoglu said.

Turkey, like other partners in the F-35 programme, was part of the manufacturing supply chain for the high-tech jet aircraft, producing some 900 parts. A U.S. official said it would cost some $500 million to $600 million to shift F-35 manufacturing from Turkey.

Separately, the TASS news agency cited Sergei Chemezov, head of Russia's Rostec state conglomerate, as saying that Russia and Turkey were in talks about the possibility of jointly manufacturing some components of Russia's S-400 missile defence system in Turkey.

Story highlights

Turkey, like other partners in the F-35 programme, was part of the manufacturing supply chain for the high-tech jet aircraft, producing some 900 parts.