By Gultekin Yetkin
Turkey has "completed" the purchase of the S-400 air-defense system from Russia, Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Saturday.
The S-400 is Russia’s most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system and can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles.
It can track and engage up to 300 targets at a time and has an altitude ceiling of 27 kilometers (17 miles).
"In addition to the S-400, Turkey also made preliminary agreements with the Eurosam countries to develop, produce and use the air defense system in order to improve its long-term domestic national capacity," Canikli told reporters in the Black Sea province of Giresun.
"We especially aim to have our own technology," the minister added.
In recent years, Turkey has sought to build its domestic defense industry to reduce reliance on foreign suppliers.
On Wednesday, a letter of intent was signed between Turkey, France and Italy to develop an anti-ballistic missile.
Under the pact, Turkey’s defense industry and the Franco-Italian consortium will work together to determine needs and priorities for the potential joint production of a SAMP-T anti-ballistic missile system.
Along with Canikli, French Defense Minister Florence Parly and Italian Defense Minister Robert Pinotti attended the signing ceremony.