Despite opposition from the United States, the government of Turkey has received the first batch of a Russian S-400 missile defence system in the country’s capital, Ankara. The Turkish Defence Ministry confirmed that the shipment arrived at an airbase in Ankara on Friday.
The move may anger the US which has warned that Turkey cannot have both the S-400 anti-aircraft defence system and US F-35 fighter jets.
Although Turkey and the US are NATO allies, Turkey has in recent times been establishing closer links with Russia.
US defence officials say they do not want the F-35 jets to be near S-400 systems because they fear Russian technicians will be able to access the F-35’s vulnerabilities.
The US has already halted deliveries of the aircraft to Turkey and suspended the training of Turkish pilots.
There are also reports that plans are underway to remove Turkey from the programme altogether. The country manufactures parts of the F-35 and is due to be a regional hub for maintenance of the aircraft.
There are also indications that Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to believe that whatever the Pentagon may say, Donald Trump himself is less hostile to the purchase of the Russian missiles.