Turkey receives seventh batch of Russian S-400 components

The seventh aircraft carrying a batch of components for S-400 missile systems arrived in Turkey on Sunday, the Turkish Defence Ministry reported.

"The deliveries of S-400 air defence systems continue. In this context, the seventh plane has landed at Murted Air Base [in the Ankara province]," the ministry said in a statement.

Earlier on Sunday, the fifth and sixth planes carrying S-400 components landed in the country. 

The delivery of Russia’s S-400 missile systems to Turkey began on Friday at Murted Air Base, adjacent to the capital Ankara.

The purchase could lead to a showdown between Ankara and Washington as the latter remains staunchly opposed to the procurement and has threatened to expel Turkey from the programme to help build F-35 fighter jets and may take measures under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which could have potentially serious consequences for the Turkish defence sector and the already ailing wider economy. 

Washington opposes the S-400 deal since the Russian system is not compatible with Western-made NATO systems. The United States also fears that if the Turkish military operated both the F-35s and S-400s, it would allow Russia to glean sensitive information about the advanced fighter jets.

Turkey, for its part, maintains the Russian system would not be integrated into NATO operability and would therefore not pose a threat to the alliance. It has also said the S-400 is essential for the country’s defences.

Turkey plans to deploy the initial battery of S-400 air defence missiles in one of the border towns in the country’s southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, against threats from neighbouring Syria, Turkey’s pro-government Habertürk reported on Sunday.

Ankara sees  Syrian Kurdish militia, which have played a key role in the international fight against the extremist jihadist Islamic State (ISIS) in northen Syria, as a threat to its national security. 

The second battery will be deployed in a region in the southern Nur (Amanus) Mountains against any threat from the Eeastern Mediterranean, which is at the centre of an ongoing dispute over the exploration and drilling of natural gas reserves around the divided island of Cyprus, Habertürk said.