Turkey commissioned certain elements of the S-400 systems against US threats

Turkey on Friday continues deploying Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile systems and has activated their certain elements, Head of Turkey’s Defense Industry Ismail Demir said, TASS reported.

"The process of deploying S-400s continues and certain systems have been put into operation," the newspaper Milliyet quoted him as saying. Russia won’t have ‘the desired access’ to the S-400 systems deployed in Turkey, Demir said.

"Although the agreement on the deliveries includes provisions on the training [of the Turkish personnel], technical maintenance and technical support, the Russian personnel will not be able to get the desired access to S-400 batteries," Turkey’s defense industry chief said.

Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on April 30 that the process of deploying S-400 air defense missile systems in the country was being delayed over the coronavirus pandemic. 

He said, however, that "this process will be continued in accordance with the plans.

Turkey, a NATO member acquired the Russian made S-400 systems against US threats. 

With the acquisition and activation, Turkey emerged the first NATO member state to purchase such air defense missile systems from Russia. The deliveries of S-400 launchers to Turkey began on July 12, 2019. Prior to its recent activation, Turkey received received a stern warning from its NATO allies about using this Russian-made air defense system.

After Turkey was boot out from the F-35 program over its acquisition of this Russian-made air defense system, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State Morgan Ortagus said on April 21 that Washington “is deeply concerned” with reports that Turkey was continuing its efforts to make the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems operational.

Russia announced in September 2017 that it had signed a $2.5 billion deal with Turkey on the delivery of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Ankara. 

Under the contract, Ankara will get a regiment set of S-400 air defense missile systems (two battalions). 

The deal also envisages partial transfer of production technology to the Turkish side.

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