ANKARA, July 12 -- Turkey’s Defense Ministry has posted photos of the first batch of the Russian-made S-400 missile system’s equipment delivered to the country.
Official photos of the Turkish Defense Ministry show several prime movers and a transporter-loader of the S-400 surface-to-air missile system. Turkey’s Defense Ministry announced on Friday that the first batch of components has been delivered to the Murted Air Base near Ankara under the S-400 deal. Activities to deliver Russia’s S-400 air defense systems to Turkey scheduled for Friday are over, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said. "According to the plan, the third [Russian] plane has landed, the activities scheduled for today are over. The process will continue in the coming days," Anadolu Agency quotes him as saying. The minister noted that "in parallel with S-400 supplies, work to train personnel to install and operate these systems will continue in Turkey and Russia." He added that Ankara "continued to look into the feasibility of purchasing US Patriot missile systems." According to the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, the remaining components will be delivered in the near future.
The first reports about the talks between Russia and Turkey on the deliveries of S-400 air defense missile systems came in November 2016. In September 2017, Russia confirmed that that the relevant contract had been signed. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar earlier said that the deployment of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems could begin in October 2019. In December 2017, CEO of Russia’s state hi-tech corporation Rostec Sergei Chemezov noted that the S-400 deal was worth $2.5 bln. The United States has been making attempts to prevent Turkey from purchasing Russia's S-400 missile systems. Washington earlier warned that it might deny Turkey the purchase of F-35 fighter-bombers, if Ankara pressed ahead with the S-400 deal. The S-400 ‘Triumf’ is the most advanced long-range air defense missile system that went into service in Russia in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and can also be used against ground installations. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.
Author: Lora Smith
ANKARA, June 17 -- The supplies of Russia’s S-400 missile defense systems to Ankara will begin in the first half of July, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters after returning from the summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
"We discussed with Russia the S-400 issue, this is a closed chapter. There haven’t been any problems. I think the supplies will begin in the first half of July," Erdogan said, according to the NTV TV channel. Ankara is not planning to give up its S-400 contract, Erdogan stressed. "We have put our signature, we will fulfill what we have started. As part of the loan, Russia gave us various benefits and granted a loan with such interest rates which do not exist on the international market," he explained. Turkey’s National Defense Ministry is preparing a reply to a letter sent by Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Washington’s decision to suspend Turkey’s participation in a program on training Turkish pilots in the US on the F-35 bombers in the wake of the S-400 deal. "Very soon, maybe even this week the letter will be sent to [the US side]," Erdogan said.
The first reports that Russia and Turkey were in talks on the S-400 supplies emerged in November 2016. Moscow confirmed that the contract had been signed in September 2017. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said back then that the deployment of S-400 systems would begin in October 2019. According to Sergei Chemezov, the director general of Russia’s Rostec state corporation, the contract’s price tag is $2.5 bln. Turkey is the first NATO member state to buy these missile systems from Russia. The US has been vigorously trying to stonewall the S-400 deal. Earlier Washington warned Ankara that should the deal with Russia be implemented, the US would not supply its F-35 fighter-bombers to Turkey. The S-400 Triumf is the most advanced long-range air defense missile system that went into service in Russia in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and can also be used against ground installations. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.
ANKARA, June 8 -- The Pentagon announced in a letter that it would halt F-35 fighter jet training for Turkish pilots over Ankara's purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Saturday.
In a letter to his Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, U.S. acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said that all Turkish pilots in the program must leave the country by July 31 and the training for new pilots will be suspended. Turkish Defense Ministry also confirmed the letter in a statement on Saturday, saying that the Pentagon expected to address security concerns over the S-400 deal. Shanahan expressed his expectation to find a solution to the existing problems between the two countries in the framework of the strategic partnership and to maintain comprehensive security cooperation, the ministry said.
The U.S. repeatedly warned that it will cut off Ankara's purchase of F-35 fighter jets if the Turkish government goes ahead with plans to buy Russian S-400 air defense system, triggering a heated dispute between the two NATO allies. Washington has already suspended deliveries of parts and services related to Turkey's receipt of the multi-million-dollar jets. However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday reaffirmed his resolve to buy S-400 system despite threatened sanctions from the United States.
MOSCOW, May 13 -- US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has cancelled his visit to Moscow scheduled for Monday but plans to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Sochi on Tuesday as planned.
Reuters reported citing a State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity. On Monday, instead of Moscow, Pompeo will arrive in Brussels, where he will discuss the situation concerning Iran with EU officials. According to Reuters, he has departed from Washington and is heading to Europe. Earlier reports said that Pompeo would come to Moscow on Monday. The US secretary of state is expected to arrive in Sochi on Tuesday afternoon and hold talks with Lavrov. Kremlin did not rule out that Russian President Vladimir Putin would receive Pompeo in Sochi.
MOSCOW, March 21 -- Two Russian jets Sukhoi-27 have forced a US B-52 bomber to move away from the Russian border, the Defense Ministry told the media on Thursday.
The B-52 was flying over international waters of the Baltic Sea. Russia’s air space control means identified it far away from the border and put it under observation. Two Sukhoi-27 jets of the air defense force were ordered to identify and escort the aircraft. After the strategic bomber B-52H changed course to move away from the Russian state border the jets returned to base, the Defense Ministry’s statement says.
The Defense Ministry has uploaded a video of the incident to its Facebook page.
WASHINGTON, March 20 -- U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bombers are flying “simultaneous training flights” over Europe and the Pacific Ocean this month.
The sorties are a coordinated effort by European Command, Indo-Pacific Command and Strategic Command, U.S. officials said in a press release issued to “promote transparency and communicate our intentions.” “This Bomber Task Force rotation is the largest deployment of a single bomber platform to Europe since we had 17 bombers on the ramp at RAF Fairford in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom,” Maj. Tristan Hinderliter, a U.S. Air Forces Europe spokesman, said in an email. “I make the distinction of ‘a single bomber platform’ because in summer 2017 we briefly had 2x B-1s, 2x B-2s and 2x B-52s at Fairford.”
On Monday, four B-52s flew theater familiarization flights from RAF Fairford, England, which serves as USAFE’s forward operating location for bombers. A total of six bombers and 400 airmen are at RAF Fairford for this rotation. The B-52s flew over the Norwegian Sea, the Baltic Sea, Estonia, the Mediterranean Sea and Greece. “The six B-52s and more than 400 airmen deployed to RAF Fairford allow us to test and evaluate the ability to rapidly provide a larger force to a combatant commander,” Maj. Andrew Caulk, 2nd Bomb Wing public affairs chief, told Air Force Times. “The data we gather from this deployment will help to identify potential shortfalls and improve processes for future operations.” The bombers also flew to Greece and were refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker en route. In Estonia, a B-52 conducted training with NATO joint terminal attack controllers on the ground. The bombers were deployed to EUCOM’s area of responsibility from the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The pilots, crews and maintenance personnel arrived in theater March 14-15. Russian state news agency Tass reported that a U.S. B-52 bomber flew over the Baltic Sea Friday with its transponder on, but remained more than 95 miles from Russian territorial waters. “The plane did not approach Russia’s border closer than 150 kilometers and turned around immediately after Russian air defense systems on combat duty tracked it,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The last time a B-52 was spotted over the Baltic Sea by Russian forces was in 2017, Tass reported.
U.S. Air Forces Pacific also launched B-52 bombers from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Monday, to conduct theater familiarization in the Indo-Pacific region. The bombers flew north from Andersen AFB to an area east of the Kamchatka Peninsula, in Russia’s far east, before returning to base.
The B-52s at Andersen AFB are deployed from the 5th Bomb Wing out of Minot AFB, North Dakota, in support of the continuous bomber presence mission. B-52 bombers also flew a mission over contested islands in the South China Sea on March 4, and another flight occurred Wednesday, March 13.
Since 2004, the U.S. has rotated B-1, B-52 and B-2 long-range bombers to Guam for training flights in Asia. The March 6 flight came just three days after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the Philippines and said the U.S. is committed to ensuring the South China Sea remains open to all kinds of navigation and that “China does not pose a threat” of closing disputed sea lanes. Pompeo said that the U.S. military will come to the Philippines’ aid if its aircraft or ships are attacked in the South China Sea, the first such public assurance in recent memory,
BRUSSELS, February 2 -- NATO strives towards a constructive relationship with Russia despite the US’ exit from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a statement by the NATO member countries informed.
"We continue to aspire to a constructive relationship with Russia, when Russia’s actions make that possible," the document states. The alliance places the responsibility for the US exiting the INF treaty on Russia. The exit procedure will take six months. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Friday that the US would suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty on February 2.
US President Donald Trump said earlier in a statement that the United States will get down to working on several options regarding a military response to Russia’s violations of its obligations under the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty in order to neutralize Moscow’s advantages. A US official stated on Friday that the US would notify Russia, along with several post-Soviet states, officially via a diplomatic note of their decision to apply Article 15 of the INF Treaty and to suspend their obligations under the treaty.
The INF Treaty, signed by the Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987, took effect on June 1, 1988. It applies to deployed and non-deployed ground-based missiles of intermediate range (1,000-5,000 kilometers) and shorter range (500-1,000 kilometers). Washington on many occasions accused Russia of violating the Treaty but Moscow strongly dismissed all accusations and expressed grievances concerning Washington’s non-compliance. Pompeo said on December 4, 2018, that Washington would suspend its obligations under the Treaty unless Moscow returned to compliance within 60 days. On December 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters that Washington had not provided evidence proving Moscow’s violations of the document. He also said that Russia called for maintaining the Treaty but if the United States pulled out of it, Moscow would have to give an appropriate response.
FORT WORTH, January 31 -- The Royal Netherlands Air Force rolled out its first operational F-35A during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility that at times resembled a rave rather than a corporate ceremony.
The RNAF expects to acquire 37 F-35As, and it already received two operational test aircraft in 2013 that are now flying at Edwards AFB, Calif. The jet that rolled out Wednesday will ferry to Luke AFB, Ariz., for F-35A pilot training. It will then move to Leeuwarden AB, Netherlands, which will be a “huge driver for change for our air force and will have tremendous impact on the relevance of our Air Force as part of the coalition,” RNLAF Commander Lt. Gen. Dennis Luyt said at the ceremony.
So far, Lockheed has delivered more than 360 F-35s, which are flown by 10 nations and at 16 bases worldwide, according to the company. Five services have declared initial operating capability, while two nations—the US and Israel—have used the jet in combat. The Lockheed facility hosted two Dutch DJs, along with massive screens and laser lights for a crowd of US and Dutch VIPs in military service dress and business attire, some with Dutch orange cowboy hats.
KUBINKA, January 23 -- Russia is not violating any points of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
Head of the Missile Troops and Artillery of Russia’s Ground Forces Lieutenant-General Mikhail Matveyevsky told this at a briefing on the 9M729 missile for military attaches. "Russia has observed and continues strictly observing the points of the Treaty and does not allow any violations," Matveyevsky said. The military official noted that the ongoing US campaign on accusing Russia of violating the INF Treaty is groundless. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was signed between the former Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987 and entered into force on June 1, 1988. The INF Treaty covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based short-range missiles (from 500 to 1,000 kilometers) and intermediate-range missiles (from 1,000 to 5,500 kilometers).
On January 15, Russia and the US held inter-agency consultations on the INF Treaty in Geneva. Washington again accused Moscow of breaching the arms control agreement. The US threatens to leave the treaty on February 2 unless Russia destroys its 9M729 missile, which allegedly violates the agreement. Russia told colleagues that during the Zapad-2017 drills on September 18, 2017 this missile was test-launched at the Kapustin Yar proving ground at its maximum range and it covered less than 480 km.
ROTTERDAM, January 15 -- Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is a supporter of international organizations such as the European Union.
But he also thinks President Trump has some legitimate complaints about multilateralism — and he apparently has little patience for some of Trump’s Dutch critics. “It pisses me off when I hear white-wine-sipping Amsterdam elites say that Trump is so wrong,” Rutte said Sunday in an interview on Buitenhof, a Dutch TV program. “In NATO, lots of things are not good. In the [World Trade Organization,] lots of things are not good. In the European Union, lots of things are not good,” he said. “So let’s make use of the presence of someone like Trump, who sometimes rightly says, ‘Guys, this is not good.’ ”
Rutte singled out E.U. policy as an area where there is not enough coordination between groups. “Eastern Europe does nothing at all and leaves it to the Netherlands and Germany to decide,” he said.
Rutte also pushed back on talk that he might be the next president of the European Council, suggesting that he had never been asked. The Dutch prime minister went on to say that upcoming European Parliament elections, in which the far right may make big gains, are not that important, especially given that turnout is “so low.” (E.U. data shows that voter turnout for the last election, held in 2014, was 42.6 percent).
Rutte’s comments drew criticism from some Dutch citizens, especially those based in Amsterdam. Zeeger Ernsting, a member of the city council for the GroenLinks party, tweeted a picture of Rutte sharing a glass of white wine with Russian President Vladimir Putin.