Deliveries of Russian S-400 defense systems to Turkey are being conducted ahead of the initially planned schedule, according to a tweet by the Russian Embassy in Washington. The expedited delivery came upon “the request of the Turkish side,” the tweet added.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said earlier this month that the purchase of S-400 defense systems from Russia was a done deal, adding that Ankara would also jointly produce S-500 defense systems with Moscow.
US officials have called Turkey’s planned purchase of the S-400 missile defense system “deeply problematic,” saying it would risk Ankara’s partnership in the joint strike fighter F-35 program because it would compromise the jets, made by Lockheed Martin Corp.
In response to the US threats, Erdoğan said that “sooner or later, we will receive the F-35s. (The US) not delivering them is not an option.”
Turkish Defence Minister, Hulusi Akar, had earlier this month that there could be a delay in the delivery of the Russian missile defense system.
“It may not happen in June but it will come in the upcoming months,” Akar told Haberturk television. “The process has started.”