The first shipment of Russian-made S-400 air defence system components was loaded into an Antonov An-124 (NATO reporting name: Condor) cargo plane in an undisclosed location in Russia, before being delivered and unloaded at the Murted Air Base near Ankara on Friday. Turkish S-400 operators will travel to Russia for training in July and August. About 20 Turkish servicemen underwent training at a Russian training center in May and June.
In late 2017, the president of Turkey and Russian officials have signed an agreement worth of $US 2.5 billion for delivery of the S-400 air defence system units. More recently, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, raised concerns over Turkey’s S-400 deal with Russia, but President Erdogan and other Turkish officials rejected the US threat of sanctions over its purchase of S-400 missile systems citing existing international protocols and agreement forms mutually signed and agreed by Turkey and Russia.
The S-400 offer with Russia was a better deal than the MIM-104 Patriot system offered by US. The United States threatened Turkey with CAATSA sanctions over Turkey’s decision to buy the S-400 missile defense system from Russia. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he chose to go ahead with the $2.5 billion purchase from Russia because the United States did not make an adequate offer on its own Patriot air defense system. NATO has that system stationed in Turkey for its own purposes in Syria, but Turkey never purchased it from Washington. NATO officials have raised concerns that the S-400 purchase will not be compatible with other systems already in use in Turkey.
The S-400 Triumph (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler), previously known as the S-300 PMU-3, is an anti-aircraft weapon system developed in the 1990s by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau as an upgrade of the S-300 family. It has been in service with the Russian Armed Forces since 2007. One system comprising up to eight divisions (battalions) can control up to 72 launchers, with a maximum of 384 missiles (including missiles with a range of less than 250 km (160 mi)) In 2017 the S-400 was described by The Economist as “one of the best air-defence systems currently made”. According to Siemon Wezeman Senior Researcher of SIPRI the S-400 “is among the most advanced air defence systems available”.