Russia’s S-400 Triumph – Putin’s missile, which takes off US stealth jets from the sky
BERLIN, (BM) – Turkey has bought two batteries, two more are to be assembled in Turkey. Each battery consists of the rocket launcher, targeting radar, long-range surveillance radar and a command vehicle. There are four start tubes on each truck. A battery can control up to twelve start trucks with the radar.
Like all air defense systems, the S-400 alone cannot completely seal off an area. It is just one building block in an air defense architecture. However, a powerful building block. The S-400 blocks large area for aircraft and missiles. The S-400 is less suitable against weapons such as cruise missiles that fly low.
Their 40N6 missiles have a range of 400 kilometers. As with all these systems, the effective operating range is smaller even under good conditions.
The exact performance data of the S-400 are unknown in the West. But it is suspected and Moscow claims that the system’s radar can track down and target the “invisible” stealth jets of the United States. The West has been skeptical at least so far. The purchase of the S-400 by Turkey and other countries is a clear indication that Russia was able to convince the buyers. There is now much to suggest that these skills actually exist.
The S-400 blocks the eastern Mediterranean
The presence of only one Russian battery in Syria has meant that western jets no longer control the airspace or that operations have become unpredictable. With four S-400 batteries, Turkey’s influence in the eastern Mediterranean would increase enormously. The geostrategic location of Turkey is increased enormously by the range and firepower of the system. Against the will of Ankara, no one will be able to operate in the air in this area.
For a long time, the United States refused to deliver this weapon to the ally Turkey. In the course of the Syrian war, patriot batteries from other NATO countries were supposed to secure the territory of Turkey. Ankara learned from this that Turkey was only a second-class ally.
With the Russian system, Turkey is choosing the path of greater independence and less dependence. The Russian systems have the full range of functions. The missiles are not supposed to know area restrictions, nor do they have built-in friend-enemy detection. Unlike the US systems, the S-400 can be used against any enemy. In principle, they could take both Russian jets and US fighters out of the sky.
Putin’s deal is better than Trump’s offer
The S-400 is considered to be far more advanced than the Patriot system, and it costs about half as much. The Kremlin also offers a better deal. Turkey is interested in technology transfer for all arms purchases, and its armaments industry should have access to cutting-edge technology. In a first step, the batteries will only be assembled, but it is expected that Turkey will then begin to develop its own systems. Just as Ankara independently developed the Atmaca anti-ship missile and is no longer dependent on the benevolence of its allies in this area.
Russia gets access to NATO technology
NATO faces such a huge problem: The S-400 is not compatible with other NATO air defense systems. If you leave it at that, NATO will lose its influence on the strategically important Turkish airspace. If you find ways to connect the S-400 to the Awacs surveillance aircraft, for example, Russia will gain deep insights into NATO technology. Because Russian technicians will maintain and update the S-400. It won’t stay with the S-400 in the long run. Air defense works in a network of different systems. On its own, even an impressive weapon like the S-400 makes little sense. It is quite possible that Ankara will complement the wonder rocket with short-range defense systems and other radar systems.
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Author: Gernot Kramper
Original title: S-400 Triumph – Putins Rakete, die auch Stealth-Jets der USA vom Himmel holt
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect BGM`s editorial stance.