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First shipment of S-400 missile parts arrive in Ankara

The first parts of a Russian S-400 missile defence system were delivered to NATO member Turkey on Friday (July 12), the Turkish defence ministry said, a development set to escalate tensions with the United States which has warned of sanctions over the deal.

A Russian Air Force AN-124 cargo plane had flown to Turkey early on Friday morning and was last tracked approaching Ankara, data from Flightradar24 website showed. Turkish broadcasters showed footage of the plane at the Murted Air Base.

Turkey’s purchase of the Russian defence systems, which Washington says are not compatible with NATO’s defence network, is one of a series of issues which have put the allies at odds.

Washington says the S-400s could compromise its Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets, an aircraft Turkey is helping to build and planning to buy.

Turkey could face expulsion from the F-35 programme under the sanctions. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed that possibility, but Washington has already started the process of removing Turkey from the programme, halting training of Turkish pilots in the United States on the aircraft.

(Production: Mehmet Caliskan, Yesim Dikmen)

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