Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated on Friday that Turkey planned to start using the Russian S-400 missile defense system in April of 2020.

"In the coming spring, God willing in April 2020, we will be able to start using this system," he told a gathering of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara, according to AFP.

The first parts of the S-400 air defense system were delivered to Turkey earlier this month.

Turkey’s purchase of the advanced Russian system has been a point of contention with the US, which says the S-400 poses a threat to the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 stealthy fighters, which Turkey was also planning to buy.

Washington reacted to Turkey's purchase of the S-400 by removing the country off its F-35 fighter jet program.

Reports have indicated that the Trump administration is planning further sanctions against Turkey in response to the S-400 deal.

The US says Russia will be able to glean sensitive technical knowledge about the new fighter if it is operated alongside the S-400.

Turkish officials insist that the deal to purchase the S-400 does not affect the security of the US and have repeatedly stressed that they will go ahead with the deal despite Washington’s objections.

Responding to the US moves on Friday, Erdogan said, "You won't give the F-35? Very well, excuse me, but we will take measures in this regard and will turn towards others.”

He threatened that rising tensions in the relationship could also put at risk a multi-billion-dollar order for Boeing airliners.

Erdogan said he raised the issue with US President Donald Trump during their meeting at the G20 summit in Japan last month.

"I told Trump in Osaka... Even if we are not buying the Patriots, we are buying Boeings... We are good clients. But if things continue like this, whether we want to or not, we may have to reconsider," he said.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)