Turkey expects that the delivery of Russia’s S-400 air defense systems to the country will begin this year, Vice President of Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) Celal Sami Tufekci said after delivering a speech at the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) in Washington. The official stressed that the relevant decision has already been made at the highest level.
Tufekci said Ankara decided to buy Russian-made systems because it was not satisfied by the terms of Washington's proposal to buy US-made Patriot systems. “During the negotiations, price was an issue, production location was an issue, and technology transfer was an issue,” he said.
According to the official, it took the US too long to finalize details of its proposal, which was received by Turkey only last month.
Turkey’s NTV channel reported citing a US source that the United States will call off the Patriot deal if Turkey persists with its intention to purchase the S-400 missile systems from Russia.
The S-400 deal, reportedly worth some $2.5 billion, has worried the West because the system cannot be integrated into NATO’s military architecture.
According to the CNBS channel, the Russian-made S-400 missile system is equipped with eight launchers and 32 missiles.