Ankara, Sep 12 (IANS) Turkey has signed a controversial deal with Russia to buy the S-400 anti-ballistic missile system in its first major weapons purchase from Moscow, a media report said on Tuesday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara had already paid the deposit on the deal, estimated to be worth $2.5 billion, the Hurriyet daily reported on Tuesday.
“Signatures have been made for the purchase of S-400s from Russia. A deposit has also been paid as far as I know,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Turkish media.
“(Russian President Vladimir) Putin and myself are determined on this issue,” he told journalists.
The purchase of the missile systems from a non-NATO supplier will raise concerns in the West over their compatibility with the alliance’s equipment, the report said.
It added the accord for the surface-to-air missile defence batteries is Ankara’s most significant pact with a non-NATO supplier.
Russia says the S-400 system has a range of 400 kilometre and can shoot down up to 80 targets simultaneously, aiming two missiles at each one.
A military adviser to Putin, Vladimir Kozhin, said the S-400 contract with Turkey was “strictly compatible with our strategic interests”.
“On that score, one can quite understand the reaction of some Western countries who are trying to put pressure on Turkey,” he said.
Erdogan, quoted by Hurriyet daily, voiced displeasure with unnamed Western partners who were “seeking enormous amounts of money” for military drones.
He said Turkey had killed 90 YPG “terrorists” in the past week with Turkish drones — developed because the Western ones were too expensive.
“We are responsible for taking security measures for the defence of our country,” he stressed.