The Turkish Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar said that Turkey would begin deploying S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems acquired from Russia in October 2019, and Turkish Armed Forces Command will later determine the locations, reports Interfax.
According to him, Turkey is purchasing the S-400 due to “the urgent need to provide country security.”
“The purchase of S-400 air defense missile systems is not a matter of preference, but an urgent requirement for national security. Turkey is obliged to protect its 82 million citizens,” said Akar during the round table of editors at the Anatolian News Agency.
The Pentagon spokesman Charles Summers announced that Turkey would face “serious consequences” if it completes its transaction with Russia.
“If Turkey takes the S-400s there will be grave consequences in terms of our military relations with them,” Summers told reporters.
“If they acquire the S-400, they will not get the F-35 [fighter aircraft], nor Patriot [anti-aircraft missile systems],” he added.
Earlier, the commander of the NATO Allied Armed Forces in Europe, General Curtis Scaparotti said in Congress that he opposes the sale of F-35 to Turkey if Ankara will begin using the S-400 missile systems.
A representative for the US State Department, Robert Palladino, in turn, stated that the situation with the S-400 might result in the application of US sanctions in accordance with the law “On Counteracting America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA).
The United States and NATO have repeatedly warned the Turkish side that the S-400 cannot be integrated into the Alliance air defense and missile defense system.
The United States also threatened to revise the agreements on Turkey’s participation in the F-35 fighter program if Ankara does not abandon the acquisition of Russian S-400.
Turkey is acquiring four S-400 batteries. The amount of the contract is $2.5 billion. Earlier it was reported that Ankara was going to let American military engineers study these anti-aircraft systems.