The US has prompted Turkey to guarantee that the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems purchased from Russia will not be operationalized if Ankara is to be provided with Patriot Missiles. This was stated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan according to CNN Turk.
Earlier, the Turkish president stated on March 6 that Turkey would start deploying S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems in April. “We have heard statements like ‘you cannot purchase them, you cannot deliver them’. Our president gave a relevant necessary response and accepted S-400. No one should doubt that S-400 will be commissioned” Turkish defence minister had stated.
Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, Turkey had asked the U.S. to deploy two Patriot missile-defence systems on its southern border to punish any future attacks by Russian-backed Syrian troops, according to a senior Turkish official.
Turkey is the first NATO member state to purchase such air defence missile systems from Russia. The deliveries of S-400 launchers to Turkey began on July 12, 2019. The US and NATO have been pursuing Turkey from purchasing Russia’s S-400 missile systems and even oust the country from the F-35 program, but Ankara did not relent.
On July 17, 2019, the press secretary of the US White House said in a written statement that Turkey’s decision to acquire Russian-made S-400 air defence systems rendered Ankara’s further participation in the US program of the fifth-generation F-35 fighter-bomber impossible.
The S-400 ‘Triumf’ is the most advanced long-range air defence missile system that went into service in Russia in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range weapons, and can also be used against ground installations. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.