Russia and Turkey are in talks about extra deliveries of Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems to Ankara, the head of Russia’s defense sales agency said on Oct. 23.
In a further sign of growing ties between Ankara and Moscow, which have alarmed Washington, Alexander Mikheyev, the head of state-controlled arms trader Rosoboronexport, said that the deliveries of S-400 systems have been completed ahead of schedule.
“We have successfully handled the logistics and delivery issues. Some 72 flights took place,” Mikheyev told journalists, adding that “no disruptions took place.”
Turkey, a NATO member, has already been frozen out of a program to buy and help produce F-35 jets and faces possible U.S. sanctions for buying the S-400 systems, which Washington says are incompatible with NATO’s defenses and threaten the F-35 if operated near the stealth fighter.
Mikheyev said that Ankara and Moscow are discussing the options, financial model and the delivery process of additional S-400 systems, as he refrained from sharing details on the program to localize production.
Rosoboronexport chief also said that the training program being carried out as part of S-400 deliveries is ongoing.
“The system will be put to use by Turkey when the training program is completed,” he added.
The deliveries of the S-400s began in July and were completed in mid-September.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the systems would be fully deployed in April 2020.