TEHRAN, Nov. 22 (Press Shia) – The first Russian S-400 missile system is planned to be delivered to Turkey in 2019, Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said.

Speaking to the parliament’s Planning and Budget Committee, Canikli said the agreement for the procurement of the missile system was signed and two S-400 systems, with one being optional, would be procured as part of the agreement.

“The first delivery of the S-400 air-defense systems is planned to be accomplished in 2019,” the defense minister said today, according to Hurriyet Daily.

“Once these systems are received, our country will have secured an important air defense capability. This solution aimed at meeting an urgent need will not hinder our commitment to developing our own systems,” he said.

Turkey has been in negotiations with Russia to buy the S-400 for more than a year, a decision seen by Washington and some of its other allies in NATO as a snub to the Western military alliance.

Turkey has also had talks with the Franco-Italian EUROSAM consortium on developing its own missile defense systems, after signing a memorandum to strengthen cooperation on defense projects between the three countries, Canikli said.

“With the memorandum in question, Turkish, French and Italian firms have started cooperation to identify, develop, produce and use a more advanced version of the SAMP-T [missile system] in a common consortium,” he said.

Turkey aims to bring talks with EUROSAM to a “definitive end” soon, Canikli said, adding that Ankara aims to finalize the deal by the end of 2017 at the latest.a