Updated November 25, 2019
Turkey tests Russian missile defenses despite US threats
- Planes, including F-16 fighters, surrounded Murted military base in Ankara province to test the newly acquired S-400 system
- Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 in July was greeted with dismay by its NATO allies
ANKARA: Turkey began testing its Russian missile defense system on Monday, local media reported, despite repeated calls from the United States that it could lead to sanctions.
Planes, including F-16 fighters, surrounded the Murted military base in Ankara province to test the newly acquired S-400 system and train Turkish operators, the DHA news agency reported.
Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 in July sparked dismay among its NATO allies.
The United States maintains that there is a risk that sensitive technological information could be disclosed if used with Western equipment such as the new F-35 jet.
Turkey ordered 100 F-35s and its defense industry was part of the new jet’s supply chain, until it was launched from the program due to the purchase of the S-400.
So far, the United States has seemed reluctant to impose sanctions threats on Turkey for the purchase, with officials saying it could be spared if it did not activate the S-400 system – although this option was rejected by Turkey.