First Russian S-400 missile systems will be deployed in Turkey as soon as in December, Turkey's Undersecretary for Defense Industries Ismail Demir said Friday, ONA reports citing TASS.
"S-400 systems will be deployed and activated in December," Demir said.
General Director of the Russian Kontsern Pvo Almaz-Antei Yan Novikov said in late August that training of the Turkish military to operate the S-400 is scheduled to begin on September 1, 2019 and last until January 2, 2020. The second procurement of the S-400 systems is planned for 2020.
Turkey tried to negotiate a deal with the US to purchase American Patriot surface-to-air missile systems, however, Washington did not let the deal happen, which prompted Ankara to sign a contract with Moscow to ensure its anti-missile national security.
In September 2017, Russia confirmed that the parties had signed the contract worth $2.5 billion to supply S-400 for Turkey. Under the contract, Ankara will get a regiment set of S-400 air defense missile systems (two battalions). The deal also envisages partial transfer of production technology to the Turkish side. The first procurement was delivered on July 12.
The United States and NATO have been making vigorous attempts to prevent Turkey from purchasing Russia's S-400 missile systems. On July 17, the White House press secretary said in a statement that Turkey’s decision to acquire Russian-made S-400 air defense missile systems rendered Ankara’s further participation in the US F-35 fighter-bombers program impossible.