S-400 missile systems
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed reports of Turkey testing the Russian-made S-400 military defense systems, adding that Washington's protest to the alliance didn't matter. Washington says Ankara's purchase of the Russian systems compromises NATO defences, and has threatened sanctions.
The NATO has criticized a possible test by Turkey of its Russian-made S-400 missile launcher and stepped up calls on Ankara to opt for a different defense system. “Any test of the S-400 air defense system by Turkey, if confirmed, would be regrettable. It is important Turkey continues to work with other allies to find alternative solutions," it said in a statement.
Reuters claims video shows missile fired where Turkey cleared way for S-400 test, prompting US warning
A missile was fired into the sky on Oct. 16 on Turkey's Black Sea coast where the military was expected to test its Russian-made S-400 defense systems, according to local video obtained by Reuters. "If confirmed, we would condemn in the strongest terms the S-400 test missile launch as incompatible with Turkey’s responsibilities as a NATO Ally and strategic partner of the United States," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.
Republican James Lankford and Democrat Chris Van Hollen called on Oct. 7 for President Donald Trump's administration to impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of Russia's S-400 anti-aircraft system and reports that it will carry out tests. The senators' call came after Ankara sent the systems to the Black Sea province of Sinop for testing. According to Bloomberg, a comprehensive test will be conducted next week.
The U.S. State Department said on Oct. 7 it was "deeply concerned" about reports on Turkey's possible tests of Russian S-400 air defense missile systems. "We are aware of these reports. We continue to object strenuously to Turkey's purchase of the S-400 air defense system, and are deeply concerned with reports that Turkey is continuing its efforts to bring the S-400 into operation," a State Department spokesperson said.
Turkey on Oct. 6 sent its S-400 missile defense systems to the Black Sea province of Sinop for testing. Footage on social media showed the systems being transported. Sources told Bloomberg that the country is planning to conduct a comprehensive test of the S-400 systems next week.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Oct. 5 that the alliance is "concerned" about the consequences of the Turkish acquisition of the S-400 system, adding that the system can pose a risk to ally aircraft and can lead to U.S. sanctions.
Talks on second S-400 shipment to Turkey in progress, but no contract yet, Russian army official says
Russia and Turkey are in an advanced stage of discussion on the delivery of the second S-400 batch, but the agreement has not yet been signed, Dmitry Shugaev, head of Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation, said on Aug. 23. Earlier, the general director of Rosoboronexport, the Russian agency dealing with the import and export of defense-related products and services, stated that Moscow and Ankara had signed a contract.
Several members of Congress have been quietly blocking multiple U.S. arms sales to Turkey as the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has still yet to impose mandatory sanctions on the country over its purchase of a Russian-made missile defense system, CNN cited several congressional aides as saying.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on July 30 the United States was continuing to evaluate how it would respond to Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems. "We continue to evaluate how to apply sanctions in order to achieve our end objective," Pompeo said.
Turkey tested Russian-made S-400 air defense systems on U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets in November 2019, a source close to the Turkish defense industry told TASS on July 7. "Yes, such trials have indeed taken place last November," the source told TASS when asked to comment on several media reports.
The United States will continue working with Turkish companies producing some parts of F-35 fighter jets until 2022, Turkey's state-owned Anadolu agency quoted a Pentagon spokeswoman as saying on July 1. "Our industry partners will carry out the continuing contracts," she said, adding the Pentagon was still looking for alternatives to Turkey.
The head of the Russian Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation, Dmitry Shugayev, said that Moscow is awaiting Ankara's final decision on the delivery of the second batch of Russia's S-400 missile defense systems. "Dialogue on the deliveries of the second regimental batch of the S-400 are on quite an advanced stage, and we await the final decision of the Turkish side," he said.
Turkey and Russia are still negotiating the terms for delivery of a second consignment of S-400 advanced missile defenses, the head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said. “The sale of a new batch of S-400s to Turkey is still on our agenda; it did not fall of our agenda. We are trying to agree on the system's scope, the delivery date and other conditions,” Dmitry Shugaev was quoted as saying by Sputnik on May 7.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said that the U.S. continues to object "strenuously" to Turkey's purchase of Russian missile defense systems and is "deeply concerned" with reports that Ankara is continuing its efforts to make the weapons operational. "We are confident that President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan and his senior officials understand our position," Ortagus said.