Turkey doubles down on Russian missile deal
The United States will be outraged by news that Russia and Turkey are on the verge of signing for the delivery of a second batch of Russian S-400 missile systems in 2020, reported the Turkish pro-government newspaper Sabah.
Turkey and Russia penned a new deal for the second batch of S-400 defence missile systems to be delivered in 2021, according to the Russian news agency, TASS.
The S-400 is a long-range anti-aircraft missile system that is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles and is also effective against ground targets.
Turkey had requested “co-production” rights to the first batch of missile systems, which was signed for in December 2017. The Turkish side will be more determined to press for co-production of at least parts of the missile systems in the second batch, according to Sabah’s report.
Turkey is the second NATO member to employ Russian-made air defence missile systems, after Greece, which installed the Russian systems in the late 1990's, during a brief hiatus from NATO.
The S-400 deal between Turkey and Russia, reportedly worth $2.5 billion, has been a source of worry for the West since the system cannot be integrated into NATO’s military architecture.
As part of NATO agreement, allied countries must integrate their military ships, planes and weapons systems into a collaborative defence system.
Both US and European officials have warned Turkey about unspecified consequences of purchasing the Russian defence system.