Russia has begun the delivery of S-400 advanced air defense systems to Turkey, according to statement released by the Turkish Defense Ministry on Friday.
“The first batch of components has been delivered to the Murted Air Base near Ankara in accordance with the S-400 contract”, said the statement.
The delivery will further complicate the relations between the U.S. and Turkey, with Washington urging Ankara not to take delivery of the system.
The U.S. has earlier warned Turkey that it will not be allowed to participate in the F-35 program and will face economic sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CATSA) if it goes ahead with the purchase.
S-400 Triumf (NATO designation: SA-21 Growler) is a long-range anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense system developed by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau as an upgrade of the S-300 family. The system, previously known as the S-300PMU-3, has been in service with the Russian Armed Forces since 2007.
Triumf can engage targets at a distance of 400 kilometers and at an altitude of up to 30 kilometers. The system is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBM), and surface targets.
The S-400 uses four missiles to fill its performance envelope: the very-long-range 40N6 (with 400 km range), the long-range 48N6 (250 km), the medium-range 9M96E2 (120 km) and the short-range 9M96E (40 km).
The system is currently operated by Russian, Belarusian and Chinese Armed Forces, and is ordered by Turkey and India. Saudi Arabia has also agreed to buy the S-400 system.