Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile systems will operate autonomously in Turkey, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in an interview with the Qatari Al Jazeera TV Channel cited by according to TASS news agency report.
“The Russian systems will assume combat duty in the stand alone system mode. We have stated from the very beginning that the S-400s will operate autonomously,” the Turkish defense chief said
The head of the Turkish Defense Ministry stressed that “S-400s are a very important mechanism for ensuring Turkey’s defense and security.”
The Turkish defense minister again warned Western partners that Ankara
“reserves the right to study alternative options,” if the US refuses to
hand over fifth-generation F-35 fighters to Turkey.
“Of course, we will be forced to look for other options. All the sides should understand this,” Akar added.
The source reminds that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on November 19 he told US President Donald Trump that Ankara would not give up the Russian-made S-400 systems. Turkey is the first NATO member state to purchase such air-defense missile systems from Russia. The deliveries of S-400 air defense systems to Turkey began on July 12, 2019.