“Turkey chose S-400 not for political reasons but due to outstanding combat capabilities”

Russia has supplied the first batches of export version of Triumph anti-aircraft weapon system to Turkey

Turkey has received the first batch of components of S-400 missile system. The purchase of the Russian weapons has provoked the international scandal: the US demanded to abandon the deal and in return to purchase their Patriot complexes. In case of refusal, the US did not exclude the possibility to delay or even cancel the sale of F-35 fighters to Ankara. About why Turkey has made the choice in favour of Russian weapons, whether sanctions are threatening the state and whether there are possible technical inconsistencies of S-400 with NATO system — read the article of Realnoe Vremya.

Trump has reached an agreement with Erdoğan?

It became known about the beginning of the supplies to Turkey of the Russian S-400 missile systems last Friday: the first part of the components of the air defence system was delivered to Mürted Airfield Command in Ankara under the contract.

The deal between Russia and Turkey was concluded in 2017: the Russian side pledged to supply four divisions of the S-400 worth 2,5 billion dollars. One part of this amount was to be paid by the customer himself, and the other — at the expense of the loan issued by Russia. The direct deployment of the S-400 starts in October this year.

The United States persistently opposed the purchase of Russian weapons by Turkey: Washington demanded to abandon the deal and in return to purchase their Patriot complexes. There were also threats of sanctions: in particular, the US were going to deny the Turkish side the purchase of F-35 fighter-bombers. Anyway, the supply of S-400 has already begun, and now the question of the consequences for Turkey is becoming more urgent than ever.

“If we talk about the response actions from the United States, the US are very unhappy and have repeatedly stated that there will be sanctions,” editor-in-chief of Moskovsky Komsomolets in Turkey Yashar Niyazbaev commented on the situation. “At the same time, after a meeting with Trump in Osaka, Erdoğan made a statement that the US president would not allow to impose sanctions. That is, even if the Congress decides to impose sanctions, Trump will stop the process. However, experts believe that such a scenario is impossible in the American system.”

According to the expert, there is also another way — the most interesting — perhaps, Donald Trump reached an agreement with Recep Erdoğan.

“We see that the S-400 have already been bought, and Turkey has not failed Russia in this regard. This raises the question: ‘How is this possible, given the fact that in parallel Turkey is waiting for the Trump's visit in July?” This is nonsense. Apparently, there is an agreement that the Turkish side will simply not use these weapons. Experts see this as the only way out. In Turkey, the question arises of why it was necessary to buy weapons of such value if the country is not going to use it. The opposition is already pressing at this point, pointing out that Ankara, where the S-400 will be placed, is far from the border with Syria. Although, maybe the weapons just to be transported,” suggests Yashar Niyazbaev.

A political decision?

As military expert, editor-in-chief of Arsenal Otechestva Viktor Murakhovsky told Realnoe Vremya, S-400 is a universal system of air and missile defence. According to him, the anti-aircraft component of the complex has no equal in the world.

Advanced issues found
“Reach is up to 400 km, also in the ammunition, there are missiles specialized to combat ballistic or low-flying targets. As part of the division, S-400 has all the means of reconnaissance, targeting, guidance, data processing, and firepower, allowing to solve on their own or in collaboration with higher command points any tasks in the sphere of its application. Turkey chose the S-400 not for political reasons but because of its outstanding technical and combat capabilities. From the point of view of military expediency this decision, really, is the best,” the interlocutor of our edition believes.

Editor-in-chief of Moskovsky Komsomolets in Turkey Yasar Niyazbaev agrees with the position of Viktor Murakhovski, but only partly.

“In fact, the S-400 bypasses the parameters of all existing anti-missile systems. Many Turkish experts — even those in opposition — agree that these weapons are the best. At the same time, they also express dissatisfaction with the US pressure (that is, even the opposition in this matter is in solidarity with that the Americans are exerting undue pressure on Turkey). But it's still a political decision. Erdoğan is a very strong politician and negotiator, and there is an opinion that he took this step in order to have the opportunity to put pressure on the US,” the expert believes.

In this context, the NATO's position is interesting, the secretary general of which has repeatedly stated that the purchase of the S-400 from Russia is Turkey's business, but any military weapons should be integrated into the systems of the North Atlantic Alliance — that is, there should be no technical inconsistencies.

“Indeed, very often one can find fake news about the technical incompatibility of systems, but this is complete nonsense, designed for idiots. I would like to remind you that our S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems and the Tor anti-aircraft missile systems have long been in service in neighbouring Greece. At the same time, the country does not experience any difficulties with the integration of these complexes into the NATO system,” military expert Viktor Murakhovsky concluded.

By Lina Sarimova