Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to use the S-400s “if necessary.” Military expert Andrei Koshkin claims that Ankara is demonstrating a decisive stance.
Ankara is ready to use the S-400 air defense complexes if needed, President Erdogan warned in a statement written by Hurriyet Daily News .
“We will not only buy the S-400s and put them in stock, we will use them if necessary, they are defense systems, what are we going to do with them if we do not use them?” he said.
Erdogan also pointed out that for several years, Ankara had requested similar weapons from the US, but his requests were rejected. According to the president, Turkey is “tired” of this.
“Russia reacts to our requests with a very attractive proposal. They [Russians] said they will even do joint production […] They offered us good loan conditions,” he emphasized.
The United States and other NATO representatives criticized Turkey’s decision to buy Russian systems. US Deputy Secretary of State Wess Mitchell said buying the S-400 could negatively influence the supply of US F-35s to the country. The head of the Department of Cyber Defense, Christian Liflander, stressed that the weapons of Russian production are incompatible with the corresponding systems that are in service of NATO members.
But the F-35’s are so riddled with problems, ranging from compatibility with other universal parts, to oxygen supply problems for pilots, and beyond. In fact, a number of highly credible industry insiders as well as military personnel have said outright that the F-35 is not ‘operationally suitable’.
“Today, Erdogan continues to conduct an independent foreign policy and is demonstrating to the US and NATO that his stance is independent and very decisive. That is why the S-400 is powerful; Erdogan is ready to not only use it as a threat, but also as a military deterrent. For now, as we have seen, he does not go beyond the ‘red line’ in relations with NATO and the US, but warns NATO and the US,” Koshkin said.
In December 2017, Turkey and Russia signed a loan agreement for S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems. Ankara will buy two batteries of anti-aircraft defense systems, which will serve the Turkish contingent. The two sides agreed to cooperate in the development of S-400 production in Turkey. Erdogan said that the advance of the contract has already been made.