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News Source: edition.cnn.com
Russian Missile-system Equipment Arrives In Turkey
russia delivery turkey

Russia Starts Delivery Of S-400 Missile System To Turkey, Setting Up Standoff With US

(CNN)The first shipment of the Russian-made S-400 air defense missile system has landed in Ankara, in a move that sets up a potential showdown between Turkey and the United States.

A Russian cargo plane transporting parts of the S-400 air defence system lands at Murted Airfield on Friday. How the US could react The Pentagon could formally suspend Turkey from participation in the F-35 program altogether. Touted as the future of military aviation, the F-35 jet -- which is the most expensive weapons system in history -- is a lethal and versatile aircraft that combines stealth capabilities, supersonic speed, extreme agility and sensor fusion technology, according to its primary contractor Lockheed Martin. The plane, which maintains stealth capabilities making it harder for enemy radars to detect, has been a favorite of President Donald Trump, who has lauded the F-35 several times for being "invisible." The US had consistently told Turkey that the S-400 was incompatible with NATO systems.

The Russian AN-124 cargo plane lands in Ankara on July 12 carrying parts of the S-400 system. Sanctions expected The US is expected to level sanctions against Turkey over its acquisition of the Russian system, penalties mandated by the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) which penalizes countries that purchase military equipment from blacklisted firms. Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, told reporters at the Pentagon last month that "there is strong bipartisan US congressional determination to see CAATSA sanctions imposed on Turkey if Turkey acquires the S-400." Sanctions could severely hurt Turkey's economy, which is suffering from the fallout of Erdogan's recent move to sack the governor of the Turkish Central Bank.  The Pentagon had already begun suspending Turkey from some aspects of the F-35 program and announced last month that Ankara had until July 31 to reach a mutual agreement with the US over the purchase of the Russian system, but said that the suspension could come in advance of that if Turkey were to take delivery of the missile system before then.

The first batch of the S-400 missile defense system is unloaded. The US Defense Department has said that more than 900 of the jets parts, including elements of the landing gear and center fuselage, are produced by Turkish industries with "a little over 400 of them" being "sole-sourced." Lord said the Pentagon is actively working "with Lockheed Martin on the aircraft side, with Pratt & Whitney on the engine side, to find alternate sources" for the Turkish produced parts. She also said the program could rely on alternate depots in Europe to make up for the loss of a Turkey-based parts depot that was meant to support the aircraft's sustainment.   What does it mean for Turkey's standing in NATO?