17:27 GMT01 August 2021
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    Turkey adhered to the contract with Russia on S-400 procurements despite the intense pressure from Washington to drop it. Still, Turkey hasn't abandoned plans to acquire European and US-made air defences at the same time.

    France will be deploying SAMP/T air defence systems produced by the French-Italian consortium Eurosam on Turkey's southern border, Reuters reported citing anonymous Turkish military officials. The media's sources didn't specify the timeframe for systems' deployment.

    Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar announced the country's intent to negotiate a deal on SAMP/Ts deployment with France on 22 May, noting that the initiative came from Paris.

    "France suggested deploying a squadron of SAMP/T in Turkey. Currently, in Incirlik, there is a Spanish squadron of Patriot missile systems and an Italian battery of SAMP/Ts in Kahramanmaras. France proposed looking at these two places as possible deployment [locations] for its systems", he said.

    Notably, Russia has just finished shipping the first portion of S-400 air defence systems to Turkey under the contract, which was inked in December 2017. The US pressured Turkey hard to drop the deal, citing alleged incompatibility of S-400s with NATO systems and their threat to F-35 jets, ordered by Ankara.

    Turkey offered Washington to create a working group to address the concerns, but the US never accepted the offer. Instead, the White House decided to suspend Turkey's participation in the F-35 programme, in Which Ankara heavily invested, and threatened the country with sanctions.

     Russian S-400 long-range air defense missile systems
    © AP Photo / Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry Press
    Russian S-400 long-range air defense missile systems

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara chose S-400s because Russia offered a better deal than the US, but noted that the country is still willing to buy Patriots from Washington.

    Related:

    Turkey Bought S-400 Due to Erdogan's Concern Over Air Force Loyalty After 2016 Coup, UK Media Claims
    US Wants to Keep 'Strong' Ties With Turkey Despite Booting Ankara From F-35 Programme Over S-400 Row
    Trump to Meet Senators Amid Calls to Sanction Turkey for Buying Russia's S-400 – Reports
    Turkey May Produce Components of Russian S-400 Air Defence System
    Top Dems on Senate Foreign Relations Panel Urge Trump to Sanction Turkey Over S-400 Buy
    First Shipment of Russia's S-400 to Turkey Completed as US Suspends Ankara From F-35 Programme
    Tags:
    Turkey, France, SAMP-T, S-400 Triumph
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