Turkish forces begin training for S-400 defense systems
Turkish Air Force personnel are attending a training for S-400 missile defense systems in Russia.
"S-400 training started in Gatchina, Russia with the participation of Air Force Command personnel as part of long-range air-and-missile defense system project," Turkey's Defense Ministry said Wednesday in a tweet.
Ankara received its first Russian S-400 missiles in July. The delivery of the first battery was completed on July 25.
The second batch of equipment of the S-400 was received on Aug. 27, and the delivery is slated to continue for around one month, according to Turkey's Defense Ministry.
Sensing that its protracted efforts to purchase an air defense missile system from the ally U.S. was not heading toward success, Turkey in April 2017, 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 the NATO systems and expose its fifth generation, the state-of-art, F-35 jet, to possible Russian subterfuge.
Turkey, however, emphasized that the S-400 would not be integrated into the NATO systems, thus had no chance to pose any threat to the alliance or its armaments.
Turkey even asked for setting up of a commission to clarify any technical issues. But U.S. has, so far, not responded to this proposal.
The S-400 system is seen as one of the most advanced missile systems in the world, capable of tracking several targets simultaneously.