Turkey Signs Deal To Buy Russian S-400 Missiles

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"They have gone insane because we made a deal for S-400s. What were we supposed to do, wait for you?" the Turkish head of state said during a speech in Ankara on Wednesday. "We'll paddle our own canoe, we are taking, and will take, all our measures on the security front". And when they did give them, their fix and maintenance put us in a hard position. "And now they are uncomfortable with that", Erdoğan added.

Vladimir Kojin, an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, confirmed on Tuesday that a contract had been signed.

"No NATO ally now operates the S-400", the official noted, adding that: "NATO has not been informed about the details of any purchase". "A North Atlantic Treaty Organisation interoperable missile defense system remains the best option to defend Turkey from the full range of threats in its region", spokesman Johnny Michael said in a statement.

Turkey has been weighing options for acquiring long-range SAMs for years.

Hurriyet newspaper quoted Erdogan on Tuesday as telling a group of reporters that signatures have been put on accords and that Turkey has made a down payment on the surface-to-air defense systems.

The Chinese deal stalled and was eventually scrapped, with Turkey reportedly unhappy over Beijing's reluctance to hand over the technology behind the advanced system.

A S-400 Triumf launch vehicle.

Turkey's relations with Washington have deteriorated due to the cooperation between Washington and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. As the dispute unfolded, the U.S. in 2015 withdrew its Patriot missiles from Turkey's border with Syria after a two-year deployment.

Besides the 40N6 missile, which has a range of 400 km, the S-400 also comprises of the 9M96E, 9M96E2 and 48N6, which have ranges of 60 km, 120 km, and 250 km, respectively.

Some media reports have said the deal could be worth up to $US2.5 billion.

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