May 07 2019

Turkish military personnel to start training for Russian S-400s

Around 100 Turkish soldiers will start training in Russia at the end of May to operate S-400 air defence systems, Hürriyet newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missiles, delivery of which is due to start in July, has led to a diplomatic dispute with its NATO ally the United States. Washington says if Turkey deployed the missiles alongside U.S.-made F-35 jets it has also ordered it could enable the Russian military to gain insights into the advanced fighters and undermine their defences.

Hürriyet said the training of the Turkish troops would take around five months and they would join a group of Chinese soldiers who started training in mid-March.

Russia has agreed to sell four batteries of S-400s to the Turkish government, serving to cement a new alliance grounded in common interests in Syria and developing economic ties.