Despite warnings from Washington, the Turkish authorities have begun construction activities at a site where the Russian S-400 missile system will be located, CNBC reported citing an informed source.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, refers to an intelligence report containing satellite images of the launch complex and bunkers, the American TV channel reported. According to him, it fits the pattern for Russia's S-400 surface-to-air missile system.
As a reference, last year, Ankara signed an agreement with Moscow on the S-400 missile systems. According to preliminary data, the total transaction amount is estimated at 2.5 billion US dollars. Meanwhile, Turkey's intention to acquire a Russian missile system has aroused concern among its NATO partners worried about Russia's growing military presence in the region.
According to reports, the S-400 system has a larger range than the US missile system THAAD — has a much lower price. Turkey plans to receive the S-400 system in 2019 and, as expected, by 2020, the system will be ready for use in combat operations.
It should be noted that while Turkey is cooperating with Russia on S-400 and is already building a platform for the missile system, the US Congress is likely to block the transfer of two F-35 fighters to Turkey.