The eighth Russian aircraft with another batch of components for S-400 missile systems has arrived in Ankara, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense repored on Monday.

“The deliveries of S-400 air defense systems continue. The eighth plane has landed at Murted Air Base [in the Ankara province],” the ministry said in a statement.

Deliveries of Russia’s S-400 missile systems to Turkey began on July 12. According to the Turkish Ministry of National Defense, on that day three cargo planes delivered several truck tractors and a transport and load vehicle for S-400 systems to Murted Air Base. Another Russian plane arrived next day. On Sunday, Turkey confirmed the arrival of the seventh plane.

On July 14, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the S-400 deal with Russia as a major agreement in Turkey’s modern history. He noted that the supplies of Russia’s air defense systems could be completed by April 2020.

The first reports about the talks between Russia and Turkey on the deliveries of S-400 air defense missile systems emerged in November 2016. Russia confirmed in September 2017 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.

CEO of Russia’s state hi-tech corporation Rostec Sergei Chemezov said in December 2017 that the S-400 deal was worth $2.5 bln.

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.

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