MOSCOW --- Turkey may engage Russian specialists to help service Russian S-400 air defense missile systems, if need be, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusolgu said on Thursday.
"As for the S-400 systems, we plan to rely on our own forces, on our own personnel. But, if need ben we will engage Russian specialists, both military and civilian," he told a news conference aired by the Haberturk television channel.
On September 12, Turksih President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara had signed an agreement with Moscow on purchases of S-400 systems, with an advance payment already made. On November 2, Director General of Russia’s Rostec corporation Sergei Chemezon told TASS that the contract with Turkey on the sales of S-400 Triumf systems exceeded two billion US dollars. Supplies of these systems are expected to begin within two years. On December 11, Erdogan said that work linked with S-400 supplies to Turkey would be finished within one week.
Russia’s S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is the latest long-range antiaircraft missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and surface targets. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 kilometers and at an altitude of up to 30 kilometers.