Mattis: S-400 Deal Is A "Sovereign Decision" For Turkey
The purchase of Russia's S-400 air defense systems by Turkey is a "sovereign" decision of the government in Ankara. However, Turkey must take into account that these weapons will not be compliant with NATO systems, US State Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis told.
"That's a sovereign decision for Turkey. Clearly, it will not be interoperable with NATO. So they're going to have to consider that if they go forward", Mattis said.
In September, the press service of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) said that Moscow and Ankara had reached an agreement on the delivery of S-400 systems to Turkey. Erdogan said that Turkey had already put down a deposit for the S-400 systems. On September 29, Russian presidential aide Vladimir Kozhin confirmed that Turkey had made an up-front payment for the S-400s, adding that the delivery is scheduled for 2019.
In response to this, NATO’s Military Committee Chairman General Petr Pavel warned Turkey that there may be consequences if the country got Russia's S-400 air defense system, adding that it will prevent Turkey from becoming part of any integrated air defense system.
The S-400 is Russia’s most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system and can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles.
It can track and engage up to 300 targets at a time and has an altitude ceiling of 27 kilometers.