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Russia to supply Turkey with four S-400 missile divisions worth $2.5 billion

Russia's S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile systems drive during the Victory Day parade at Red the Square in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Reuters)

Russia will sell Turkey four divisions of the S-400 surface-to-air missile system worth $2.5 billion under a deal agreed between the two sides earlier this month, says the head of Russian conglomerate Rostec.

Sergei Chemezov told the Kommersant daily on Wednesday that Turkey would pay 45 percent of the cost in advance while Russia would provide loans to cover the remaining 55 percent, adding that the Russian and Turkish finance ministries had already completed talks on the loans.

He added that Moscow would begin the first deliveries in March 2020.

Turkey is the first NATO member state to acquire the advanced S-400 missile system, the Russian official said.

The deal was discussed between Russia's President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the former’s visit to Ankara on December 11.

The deal comes as Turkey has been establishing closer relations with Russia after its ties with Western and European governments soured following a crackdown in the country over the July 2016 coup attempt.

NATO originally reacted skeptically to the decision, saying the system was not compatible with its equipment.

However, the Pentagon said recently that Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 system, the most significant deal Ankara has signed with a non-NATO military supplier, was generally “a good idea” as it was inter-operable with the military alliance's other systems.

The S-400 is Russia’s latest surface-to-air missile defense system. 

It has a range of 400 kilometers and can track up to 300 targets, including aircraft, drones and ballistic and cruise missiles, simultaneously.

Russia has also agreed a deal with Saudi Arabia to supply the S-400 to Riyadh.

The agreement was signed during Saudi Arabia’s King Salman’s visit to Moscow in October.

A number of other deals was also signed during King Salman’s trip, the first by a Saudi monarch.

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