Turkey has agreed to host NATO‘s early warning radar system, and discussions on the radar deployment are in their final stage, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal has confirmed.

“The deployment of this missile defence element in Turkey will constitute our contribution to the defence system being developed within the new Nato defence strategy and will strengthen the defence potential of Nato as well as our national defence system,” he added.

The advanced X-Band radar system is similar to the Raytheon-built AN/TPY-2 radar and will be deployed to protect Nato states against the growing threat of ballistic missiles.

Russia has, however, maintained firm opposition to the deployment of missile-defence systems near its borders.

The US and Nato claim that the missile shield is to protect Nato members from North Korean and Iranian missile attacks, and not to direct them at Russia.