On Monday, during broadcast on Haberturk TV, Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar said that Russian technical personnel will be arriving to the country to install the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems.
“Purchase of the S-400 is a done deal. Case closed. Everyone needs to understand that. Our president has said this multiple times. Technical personnel will be arriving from Russia to install the S-400,” Akar said, without specifying the exact time the Russian specialists planned to arrive.
As for when the Russian systems would be delivered to Turkey, the head of the Ministry of Defense noted that “they may not yet be delivered [to Turkey] in June, but they will arrive in the coming months.” According to him, “the process has already started.”
A TV reported asked how Turkey would react if the United States refused to send it fifth-generation F-35 fighters, whether Ankara is ready to consider Russian Su-57 as an alternative. “If the United States changes its stance within the framework of the agreement, then we will create our own rules,” the minister said.
Akar denied all media reports that Washington is demanding Ankara cancel its purchase of the S-400 systems by the end of the first week of June. “I did not receive such information,” he stressed.
It was first reported that Russia and Turkey were negotiating the delivery of S-400 systems in November 2016. On September 12, 2017, Russia confirmed that a deal had been reached. Akar said that the deployment of the S-400 systems would begin in October 2019. In December 2017, the CEO of the Russian defense concern Rostec, Sergey Chemezov reported that the cost of the S-400 system delivery to Ankara is $2.5 billion.
S-400 Triumf is a long-range and medium-range anti-aircraft missile system designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles. The S-400 can also be used against ground targets.