Turkey to start testing Russian S-400 defence system – reports

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The Turkish military is set to test the recently acquired Russian-made S-400 missile defence systems on Monday and Tuesday, local media reported. The S-400s are currently deployed at an airbase outside the capital Ankara.

Turkey is testing Russian-made S-400 air defence systems, despite threats of sanctions from the US, Turkish media said.

The provincial governor’s office announced on Sunday that the Turkish Air Force’s F-16s and other aircraft will conduct low- and high-altitude flights over Ankara on Monday and Tuesday.

Broadcaster CNN Turk and other media said specifically that the flights were to test the S-400 radar system.

Ankara and Washington have been at loggerheads over Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 system, which Washington says is not compatible with NATO defences and poses a threat to its F-35 stealth fighter jets.

Turkey, however, says that the S-400 would neither be integrated into NATO systems nor pose a threat to the alliance.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump met at the White House last week but it has remained unclear whether the two NATO allies made any breakthrough on the S-400 impasse.

During the meeting, Trump reportedly said Ankara needed to drop the S-400 system and that in return, US was ready to sell Ankara US Patriot systems.

But Erdogan, upon his return to Ankara, said he told Trump during talks that Turkey would not give up on the Russian S-400 missile defences and cited strong ties with Moscow.

The US earlier this year suspended Turkey from the F-35 programme, which it was a buyer and producer of, over its purchase of the Russian systems and warned of possible US sanctions over the deal.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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