Turkish President Erdogan said on the 23rd that Turkey has already begun testing the S-400 air defense missile system purchased from Russia, and that the United States’ opposition to the arms purchase is “insignificant”.
Erdogan told reporters that Turkey “has carried out and is continuing” to test the S-400 system, and “the US position will undoubtedly not affect us.” “If we don’t test the equipment capabilities we have, what are we going to do?” Erdogan also pointed out: Turkey will continue to test military equipment, including testing many weapons purchased from the United States. The earthwork “has decided” and “will continue to walk our own way as before.”
Turkey signed a contract with Russia worth approximately US$2.5 billion in 2017 to purchase the first batch of S-400 air defense systems, which will be delivered by Russia in 2019.
The two parties signed the contract again in August this year, and the Turkish side purchased the second batch of S-400 systems. Because Turkey and the United States are both members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 system has been opposed by the United States and NATO.
The United States claims that the Russian-made S-400 system is not compatible with NATO air defense systems and may help Russia to track the F-35 stealth fighter that the United States has developed in cooperation with allies.
A video recorded on the 16th of this month showed that Turkey was suspected of testing an S-400 air defense missile, which once again triggered strong dissatisfaction from the United States. Some US officials even threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey.