The 17th plane carrying the hardware for long-range air defence system arrived in Turkey's capital Ankara on Thursday.

Russian cargo aircrafts continue delivering components of S-400 missile defence systems at an air base in Ankara.
Russian cargo aircrafts continue delivering components of S-400 missile defence systems at an air base in Ankara. (AA)

Turkey received more S-400 components on Thursday with a 17th Russian cargo plane delivering the missile system at an air base in capital Ankara, Turkey's defence ministry said. 

The delivery of hardware for the S-400 long-range air defence system is ongoing, the ministry added.

Equipment, artillery tractors, missile transport, diesel generators, and cranes are being delivered and missiles will be delivered by sea according to Russia's TASS news agency.

Turkey began receiving the S-400 components on July 12 and expects to completely deploy the missile system in Turkey by April 2020.

TRT World's Hasan Abdullah has more from the Murted air base in Ankara.

The US on Wednesday said Turkey's further participation in the F-35 program is "impossible" due to its procurement of the Russian S-400 air defence system.

"Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defence systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible," White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement

"The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence-collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities." the statement said. 

The Trump administration had threatened to expel Turkey from the F-35 fighter program if it acquired the S-400 from Russia, claiming that the anti-air system could be used by Moscow to covertly attain secret information on the stealth fighter.

'Multi-layered' relationship

Grisham stressed that as NATO allies, the US and Turkey share a relationship that is "multi-layered, and not solely focused on the F-35."

"Our military-to-military relationship is strong, and we will continue to cooperate with Turkey extensively, mindful of constraints due to the presence of the S-400 system in Turkey," she said.

Later, addressing a briefing, Pentagon official Ellen Lord said that the US and other F -35 partners are aligned in this decision to suspend Turkey from the programme.

"The United States is spending between $500 and $600 million in non-recurring engineering in order to shift the supply chain," she further said.

Following protracted efforts to purchase an air defence system from the US with no success, Ankara signed a contract in 2017 to purchase the S-400s from Russia.

US President Donald Trump blamed the ongoing row over the F-35 on the Obama administration, who he said created the problem by not allowing the Turkish government to purchase Patriot missile systems. 

"As soon as they found out that they were going to have to buy the missiles, comparable missiles, not as good a missile, but a comparable almost missile from Russia ⁠— all of a sudden everybody started rushing and saying to Turkey, 'Okay, we'll sell you the Patriot missile,'" Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies