In a development that will be closely monitored by defence analysts, Turkey has received its first shipment of the Russian S-400 air defence system defying US threat of possible sanction over the deal, The Hindu has reported.
Turkey, being a part of the NATO, has traditionally been a close US defence partner. But the deal with Russia is being seen as its way out of the partnership as the US has said that the country could face economic sanctions if it purchases the Russian system. The US has also said that Turkey will be excluded from the F-35 production projects if the deal takes shape.
However, with the first shipment having landed at an airbase near Ankara, the US reaction remains to be seen. On its part, Turkey has defended the deal as a matter of national sovereignty.
The S-400, widely touted as the best air defence system in the world, features several levels of air defence mechanisms with a 400-km radius and close to 40 km altitude clearance.
India has also agreed to acquire the Russian system in a $5.43 billion deal but is faced with similar threats from the United States under its Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) regime.