DOD concerned by Turkey purchase of Russian air defense system

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The Pentagon is concerned by Turkey’s decision to buy a Russian air defense system, Defense Department spokesman Jeff Davis said Monday.

Davis said that Defense officials “certainly are aware of the reports” that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is currently in talks with Russia to buy the S-400 surface-to-air missile system.

“Our only concern about it is one of interoperability,” Davis told reporters at the Pentagon. “Turkey is a NATO ally. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea for allies to buy interoperable equipment.”

Davis said the Pentagon would encourage that Turkey instead “buy things and invest in things that will further invest in our alliance,” as Russian technology may not work with other weapons and equipment used by NATO countries.


“What’s been reported here is something that’s not interoperable with anything that we have and that’s obviously cause for concern,” Davis said.

The S-400 system is designed to shoot down enemy aircraft and has a range of about 250 miles.

British media outlet Jane’s 360 reported Monday that Turkey’s deal with Russia is all but complete as the two countries are working through a few minor issues. Turkey has also rejected the argument that the S-400 might not work with other NATO systems. 

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