S-400 system to be delivered in 2 years at earliest, says Turkish official

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ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MARCH 15: Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman (L) and Turkish Defense Industry Undersecretary Ismail Demir (C) attend a meeting during the SAHA (Defense, Aerospace and Space Cluster Association) gathering in Istanbul, Turkey on March 15, 2017. AFP

Undersecretary for the Defense Industry (SSM) İsmail Demir on Monday said delivery of a Russian S-400 missile system that Turkey recently signed an agreement to buy would take at least two years.

According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, Demir said there is much incorrect information about the delivery of S-400 defense system to Turkey.

It has a certain agenda [for delivery]. We have worked hard to get the delivery earlier; however, it will take a minimum of two years,” he said during a press briefing in Ankara on Monday.

Ankara has signed a deal with Russia to buy the S-400 missile defense system despite opposition from NATO allies. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized those questioning Turkey buying a Russian air defense system and suggested Ankara would make its own decisions on what to purchase, regardless of NATO’s wishes.

Pentagon spokesman Johnny Michael said that the US had relayed its concerns to Turkish officials over the purchase of the system from Russia.

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