The first shipment of Russia's S-400 defence missile system to Turkey has now been completed, officials say.

A view shows a new S-400
A view shows a new S-400 "Triumph" surface-to-air missile system after its deployment at a military base outside the town of Gvardeysk near Kaliningrad, Russia, March 11, 2019. (Reuters)

Russia has completed delivery of the first shipment of its S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Turkey and a second shipment is now being planned, Turkish military officials said on Thursday.

Turkey began taking delivery of the advanced Russian air defence system earlier this month, a route taken after Washington initially rejected Turkey's request to purchase Raytheon's Patriot missile system.

Washington in-turn announced it was removing NATO ally Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet programme, following its threats to do so, over what it says are security concerns.

Washington has also threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey, though Ankara has dismissed the warnings, as US President Donald Trump announced that Turkey was treated "unfairly."

Trump blames the Obama administration for the current row over its refusal to ink a deal with Turkey on the Patriot missile system.

At a briefing in Ankara, military officials said on Thursday that Turkey was still discussing where exactly to base the first S-400 shipment.

US concerns dismissed

US officials say they're concerned that the stealth capabilities of the F-35 Lockheed Martin fighter would be jeopardised if deployed together with the S-400s.

Turkey dismissed those concerns, emphasising the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.

Turkey says the decision to remove it from the project was not finalised. Military officials said Ankara expected the United States to change its stance.

"As a strategic partner, it is our most natural right to expect the United States to change its current stance. The project has been suspended, but there is no clear removal or cancellation yet," one of the military sources said.

Russia's Rostec state conglomerate said Russia would be ready to supply its SU-35 jets to Turkey if Ankara requested them. Turkish officials said on Thursday there were no talks with Moscow on procuring alternatives to the F-35 jets for now.

Turkish officials said it was unclear if Turkey would be refunded its investments in the F-35 project, which have totalled over $1 billion for orders of 116 F-35 jets in addition to manufacturing costs. 

After Turkey took steps towards purchasing the S-400, Washington offered to sell Ankara its Patriot defence systems, but Turkey said that the US offer was no longer viable.

Officials said on Thursday the two sides continued to discuss the matter.

Turkey urged the formation of a commission to clarify any technical issues, but the US failed to respond to the proposal.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies