Pentagon alarmed by Turkey’s plan to buy Russian S-400 air defense system

by WorldTribune Staff, August 3, 2017

The United States has raised concerns over NATO ally Turkey’s plan to purchase an advanced air defense system from Russia.

Russian S-400 air defense system

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told a press briefing in Washington on July 31 that the S-400 system Turkey plans to buy may have inconsistencies with other equipment used by NATO.

“Generally, we think that it is more suitable for allies to buy equipment that can work together in harmony,” Davis said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed last week the purchase of the S-400 missile was set to proceed, saying: “Talks [with Russia] have pretty much ended,” though most details of the agreement remain unknown.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado last week that Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 is “concerning.”

Erdogan responded to Dunford’s comments by noting that Greece has been using Russian S-300 missiles for years and asked why it would cause “concerns” if Turkey acquired the S-400 system.

Pentagon spokesman Johnny Michael told the Daily Sabah that the U.S. has relayed its concerns to the Turkish government. “We emphasize the importance of maintaining inter-operability with the NATO system on any major defense systems procurement,” Michael said.

If the purchase goes forward, Turkey would be the first NATO member country to purchase the S-400 defense system, which was introduced in 2007 and previously sold to China and India.

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