Sep 04 2019

First deployment Turkey’s S-400 spotted, satellite images purported to show

Israel-based geo-intelligence firm ImageSat International (ISI) has released a picture of what it said appeared to be the first deployment of Russian S-400 air defence missiles in Turkey.

It said the image showed an S-400 battery at Ankara’s Murted airbase on Aug. 29 along with radar, communications equipment and missile launchers.

Turkey received the first shipment of S-400 components in July, followed by a second shipment in late August, despite strong opposition from the United States, which maintains Russia could use the S-400 deployment to gather intelligence on the defences of NATO aircraft.

The United States responded by suspending NATO ally Turkey from the programme to build F-35 advanced fighter jets and has threatened to impose further sanctions.

But the United States has so far not taken measures against Turkey under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which aims to deter third parties from defence partnership with Russia, until Turkey activates the S-400s.

The deployment of the S-400 missiles at the Ankara airbase could be a trial before the unit is delivered to its permanent site, the ISI intelligence assessment said.

Meanwhile, the country's Defence Ministry on Wednesday announced that training had commenced on the defence system in Gatchina, Russia.