ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The first of the Russian S-400 defence systems that Ankara has purchased will be loaded on to cargo planes on Sunday and arrive in Turkey some time next week, privately-held broadcaster Haberturk reported.
Washington has said that U.S. sanctions would be triggered when the missile batteries arrive in NATO ally Turkey.
The initial S-400 delivery will be sent on two cargo planes from a Russian military air base, Haberturk said without citing a source. It also reported that a Russian technical team that would oversee its installation is expected to arrive in Turkey by Monday.
Turkey and the United States have been at odds over Ankara’s decision to buy the S-400s, which Washington says are not compatible with NATO defences and would compromise U.S. F-35 fighter jets, which Turkey helps build and also plans to buy.
Washington has also formally started the process of expelling Turkey from the programme for F-35s, made by Lockheed Martin Corp <LMT.N>.
Sanctioning Turkey and removing it from the F-35 programme would be one of the most significant ruptures in recent history in the relationship between the two nations.
(Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)