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Iran Press TV

Ankara receives 2nd batch of Russian S-400 on Tuesday: Turkish defense minister

Iran Press TV

Mon Aug 26, 2019 01:39PM

Turkey's defense minister says the delivery of the second batch of Russian S-400 missile defense systems is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

The state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar as saying on Monday that Moscow would resume transporting parts of the advanced defense missile systems to Ankara on August 27.

"Our aim is to protect our country and nation from air and missile threats that would come from outside," Akar was quoted as saying during inspections on Turkish troops in the eastern province of Erzincan.

Ankara received the first batch of S-400 missiles in July despite strong objections from the United States, which has been pressing Turkey to scrap the deal with Russia and has threatened sanctions against Turkey.

Deliveries of the advanced system are set to continue until April 2020.

Moscow and Ankara finalized an agreement on the delivery of the S-400 in December 2017.

The medium-range and long-range S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile system was developed as an upgraded version of the S-300 with the capability of shooting down aircraft at a distance of up to 250 km and intercepting ballistic missiles up to 60 km away.

Washington says the S-400s could compromise its Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets, an aircraft Turkey is helping to build and planning to buy.

The US has long warned that Turkey cannot have both the S-400 and American F-35 stealth fighter jets.

Washington has on several occasions threatened to level sanctions against Ankara under the so-called Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which mandates US sanctions against anyone making a significant deal with the Russian defense industry.

The US has already halted deliveries of F-35 to Turkey and suspended the training of Turkish pilots to fly the aircraft.

Bloomberg reported last month that US President Donald Trump's team had settled on a sanctions package to punish Turkey for receiving S-400 parts and planned to announce it in the near future.

Ankara insists that acquisition of the Russian S-400 is "not a choice but a necessity" because Turkey is under "serious threat."

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