Russia would accelerate delivery dates of the S-400 defense systems to Turkey, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a joint press-conference with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on April 3.
Putin didn’t say certainly when Turkey would get the air defense systems. Although Russian president stated that there were “no political or strategic limitations” to share some technology and noted that weapon systems’ producers were keen to enter the Turkish market.
In December 2017, Turkey and Russia signed a contract of the delivery of Russian S-400 air defense systems in the first quarter of 2020. This purchase discomposed Turkish NATO allies. Washington and Brussels underlined that Turkey couldn’t integrate Russian facility in NATO’s air defense system. Despite this, the Turkish authorities justified the purchase by the necessity.
“Turkey is a NATO member, but we are an independent state, we are not a satellite state. Other countries of the alliance can purchase weapons from non-NATO states, we have the same right and liberty,” stated Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
On April 3, Turkish Undersecretary of Defence Industries Ismail Demir announced the shift of delivery dates.
“We brought forward the delivery date in the accord signed with Russia to provide the S-400 system and received a date of July 2019,” he twitted overnight.
S-400 sistemi temini için Rusya ile imzalanan sözleşmedeki teslimat tarihini öne çekerek Temmuz 2019 tarihine aldık.
— Ismail Demir (@IsmailDemirSSM) 3 April 2018
On April 4, Russian News Agency “TASS” reported that Russia may deliver a regiment set of S-400 systems to Turkey in October 2019.
“Under the recently signed appendix to the contract, the delivery of the two-battalion regiment of S-400 systems to Turkey will be carried out in October 2019 instead of early 2020, i.e. actually four months earlier,” TASS quoted “a source in military and diplomatic circles”.
“The S-400 regiment will be delivered to Turkey across the Black Sea by three vessels from the port of Novorossiysk,” the source added.
The regiment set “includes a command post, radar stations, launchers, missiles, power-generating plant and auxiliary equipment, spare parts and accessories,” the source said.