Published: Thu, September 14, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Turkey signs major missile deal with Russian Federation

Turkey signs major missile deal with Russian Federation

"Wait for you? We are taking security measures and will continue to do so", Erdogan said Wednesday while in Ankara, according to state-owned Anadolu Agency.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed criticism from his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over his country's purchase of Russia's strategic S-400 missile defense systems, saying Ankara would not "wait for" the Western military alliance to help Ankara with security affairs.

Russia and Turkey have signed a contract for Ankara to purchase the Russian-made S-400 missile defence system, the Kremlin confirmed on Tuesday.

The total value of the deal is believed to be around $2.5 billion.

In July, Bloomberg reported that Ankara and Moscow agreed to a $2.5 billion US contract for four S-400 systems. "Both Mr. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and myself, we are determined on this issue", said Erdogan to journalists (via Hurriyet).

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US Defense Secretary James Mattis stated earlier that the US will not impede the S-400 missiles deal, saying that it is a Turkish "sovereign decision".

"Turkey is a key NATO Ally, and we are committed to our strong defense partnership", Defense Department spokesperson Johnny Michael said in an email.

Turkey's need for an air missile defense system once again became urgent with the start of the civil war in Syria, a country which has a sizeable ballistic missile stockpile able to strike a large portion of Turkey's territory, in addition to biological and chemical weapons.

Turkey, whose relations with its allies have frayed in recent months, said it opted for the S-400 because Western companies had offered no "financially effective" alternative. Defense observers speculated that Turkey played the China card to put pressure on its allies and get better terms for buying a NATO-compatible SAM system, such as the US-made Patriot PAC-3.

It can track and engage up to 300 targets at the same time and has an altitude ceiling of 27 kilometers (17 miles).

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