16:45 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Turkey's S-400 Systems to Be 'Ready for Combat' by Spring - Russian Gov't Agency

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    Earlier, the head of the Turkish Defence Industry Directorate, Ismail Demir, said that Turkey purchased S-400 missile defence systems from Russia to make use of them, not just store them away.

    The S-400 missile defence systems will be operated by the Turkish army no later than the spring of 2020, while the training of Turkish specialists will be complete by the end of 2019, Dmitry Shugaev, director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, told reporters at an exhibition in Dubai.

    "The contract for the S-400 for Turkey is carried out normally. By the end of the year, we will complete the training of Turkish specialists. By spring, the system will be on combat duty. Everything is going according to plan," said Shugaev.

    Russia will provide technical assistance to Turkey in developing a 5th generation fighter jet, Shugaev added.

    "[Russia has] plenty to offer our Turkish partners in this [military-technical] field in terms of developing different systems. They also have a lot of experience. We can help significantly," Shugaev said.

    Deliveries of the latest Russian S-400 air defence systems, which caused a crisis in relations between Turkey and the United States, began in mid-July. According to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, the S-400 will be fully operational in April 2020. Washington demanded that Turkey abandon the deal and instead acquire the American Patriot systems, threatening to delay or even cancel the sale of the latest F-35 fighters to Turkey, as well as impose sanctions in accordance with CAATSA (Law on Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions). Ankara refused to make concessions.


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