By Kamila Aliyeva
The control system of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems S-400, which Turkey will acquire from Russia, will be under control of the Turkish side.
This was stated by Turkish National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli, according to the ministry’s message.
He noted that the S-400 cannot be integrated into the NATO air defense system, but at the same time, the Russian SAM will not damage the defense system of the alliance.
“The system of radar identification of targets (one's own, another's) will also be integrated into the Russian SAM,” Canikli stressed.
Turkey will receive the first S-400 SAM of Russian production in 2019.
The S-400 is Russia's next-generation air defense system, carrying three different types of missiles capable of destroying aerial targets at a short-to-extremely-long range. The weapon is capable of tracking and destroying all existing aerial targets, including ballistics and cruise missiles.
Reportedly in July 2017, Turkey reached an agreement with Russia to purchase the S-400. Under the $2.5 billion agreement Ankara would receive two batteries of the antiaircraft missile from Moscow within the upcoming year and then produce two more batteries in Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on September 12 that Ankara had signed an agreement with Moscow on the acquisition of the S-400 SAM, and the deposit has already been paid.
Then in mid-October Erdogan noted that Turkey had discussed with Russia and the question of the possible acquisition of the S-500 system.
The deal on S-400 raised eyebrows among Ankara’s fellow NATO members and caused concerns as they are supposed to only buy compatible weapons systems from other members.
Turkey has the second-largest military force in NATO, after the U.S., but ties among the NATO allies have worsened last July after a failed coup attempt. Relations further deteriorated following an April referendum which expanded the powers of the president. Ankara also objects to some NATO members’ military support for Syrian Kurdish rebels, who are linked to PKK terrorists.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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