Turkey's Erdogan says Russian S-400s will be fully deployed by April 2020

 Turkeys Erdogan says Russian S-400s will be fully deployed by April 2020

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that the Russian S-400 missile defence system, parts of which have been delivered to Turkey over the past four days, would be fully deployed in April 2020.

Turkey's purchase of the Russian system has raised tensions with its NATO allies, particularly the United States, which has warned Turkey that it will respond with sanctions.

Speaking at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport on the third anniversary of the 2016 attempted coup, Erdogan said eight planes had already brought parts of the Russian system and more were coming, as he had repeatedly promised.

"With God's permission, they will have been installed in their sites by April 2020," he told the crowd.

"The S-400s are the strongest defence system against those who want to attack our country. God willing, we are doing this as a joint investment with Russia, and will continue to do so."

U.S. officials have said that, in addition to being hit with CAATSA sanctions, Turkey could be thrown off the F-35 stealth fighter jet programme, meaning it would no longer make F-35 parts or be able to buy the jets it has ordered.

(Reporting by Sarah Dadouch and Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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Updated Date: Jul 16, 2019 03:07:06 IST