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Russian S-400 missile purchase a done deal, Turkey’s Erdogan says

Ignoring US warnings, President Erdogan says contracts for the advanced Russian missile defence system already signed.

 

Erdogan also said the US should not try to discipline Turkey though trade measures as Ankara had its own penalties prepared. 

 

Turkey will never turn back from a deal to purchase S-400 missile defence systems from Russia, President Tayyip Recep Erdogan said, adding that Ankara may subsequently look into buying S-500 systems.

In an interview with broadcaster Kanal 24, Erdogan also said on Wednesday the US should not try to discipline Turkey though trade measures, adding Ankara had its own penalties prepared.

“We concluded the S-400 issue, signed a deal with the Russians, and will start co-production,” said Erdogan. “Later, we may work with S-500s,” the next generation system, he added.

The United States has warned that procuring the S-400 systems from Russia could jeopardise defence industry deals between the NATO allies, and this week decided to end preferential trade with Turkey.

A State Department spokesman said on Tuesday that Ankara was told “acquisition of the S-400 will result in a reassessment of Turkey’s participation in the F-35 programme, and risk other potential future arms transfers to Turkey”.

The US agreed to sell 100 of its latest fifth-generation F-35 stealth fighters to Turkey and has so far delivered two of the aircraft. But Congress last year ordered a delay in future deliveries.

NATO nations – particularly the US – view Turkey’s purchase of the Russian-made equipment with suspicion. Ankara says it needs alternative missile defences to counter regional threats.

Russia’s advanced S-500 anti-ballistic missile system will enter service with the Russian armed forces soon, Russian media reported last week.

The first group of military officers will complete a training course this year to use S-500, a long-range system that will form the backbone of Russia’s air and missile defence systems, TASS news agency said.

 

06 march 2019

US warns Turkey not to buy Russian S-400 missile system

 

Moving forward with the deal will jeopardise the F-35 fighter jet purchase and other future arms transfers, US says.

 

The United States warned Turkey against moving ahead with plans to buy a sophisticated Russian missile defence system that the Pentagon believes would threaten its advanced F-35 fighter aircraft.

The State Department made the remarks on a day when the head of US European Command spoke to politicians on Capitol Hill and said Turkey should reconsider its plan to buy the S-400 from Russia this year.

“We’ve clearly warned Turkey that its potential acquisition of the S-400 will result in a reassessment of Turkey’s participation in the F-35 programme, and risk other potential future arms transfers to Turkey,” said deputy spokesman Robert Palladino on Tuesday.

The US agreed to sell 100 of its latest fifth-generation F-35 fighters to Turkey and has so far delivered two of the aircraft. But Congress last year ordered a delay in future deliveries.

NATO nations – particularly the US – view Turkey’s purchase of the Russian-made equipment with suspicion. Ankara says it needs alternative missile defences to counter regional threats.

Russia’s S-400 is a massive upgrade to the S-300 missile defence system, its predecessor. Because of its capabilities, countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indiaand Qatar have said they want to buy the S-400.

Those stating such intentions, however, have been threatened with some kind of diplomatic retaliation from the US or other NATO nations.

The S-400 can track a large number of potential targets, including stealth targets such as the US F-35 fighter jet.

Other advantages included its high mobility, meaning it can be set up, fired and moved within minutes.

 

{SOURCE: AL – JAZEERA NEWS networks}

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