Turkey needs more air defense systems: Foreign minister


Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday in addition to Russian S-400 air-defense system, Turkey needs more systems.

The S-400 battery alone is not enough, Turkey needs new and additional air defense systems, Cavusoglu told the joint news conference with his Somali counterpart Ahmed Issa Awad in the Turkish capital.

He also reiterated President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s earlier remarks that Turkey can purchase Patriot missiles, if the U.S. guarantees it.

Responding to the criticism on Ankara’s purchase of the S-400 air-defense system, Cavusoglu said a product is not purchased for storage purpose, and that Turkey needs the system.

Saying that S-400 issue was mentioned at President Erdogan’s visit to Washington, he stressed that Turkey and the U.S. dissent and this is one of the issues that negatively affects Turkey-US relations.

Ankara received its first Russian S-400 missiles in July. The delivery of the first battery was completed on July 25, and of the second batch started in August.

In April 2017, when its protracted efforts to buy an air defense system from the U.S. proved fruitless, Turkey signed a contract with Russia to acquire the S-400 anti-missile shield.

Opposing deployment of the Russian system, U.S. officials argued that they would be incompatible with NATO systems and would expose its F-35 jets to possible Russian subterfuge.

Turkey, however, stressed that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems, and posed no threat to the alliance or its armaments.

Turkey also proposed a commission to clarify any technical issues, but the U.S. has failed to respond.

Turkey has rebuffed suggestions from U.S. leaders that it leaves the Russian S-400 system unactivated in order to avoid possible U.S. sanctions.

The S-400 is seen as one of the most advanced missile systems in the world, capable of tracking several targets simultaneously.
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