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Turkey expects sanctions from US over the Russian S-400 missile systems purchase

WASHINGTON, (BM) – A bill on sanctions against Turkey for the purchase of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems from the Russian Federation has been submitted to the US Congress, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing RT. The authors of the document are Republicans Adam Kinzinger and Michael McCaul, as well as Democrat Abigail Spanberger.

Read more: Turkey promises allies to protect secrets of S-400 defense system and F-35 fighter

According to Kinzinger, the United States should make Turkey understand that its actions will have consequences.

“Turkey continues to make dubious decisions that do not reflect the leadership qualities of a NATO member country. A year ago, Turkey ignored warnings from alliance members about this deal with Russia and adopted Russian S-400 systems,” the congressman said in a statement on his website.

Democratic Senator Abigail Spanberger said Turkey’s actions are incompatible with the security of the United States and its allies. According to the politician, Ankara should be held accountable for cooperation with Russia.

In addition, Spanberger said that Turkey acquired the S-400 at a time when “the Kremlin is ordering its defense and intelligence agencies to pursue aggressive policies and destabilize the situation in democratic countries around the world.”

As follows from the text of the document, if adopted, Turkey will be subject to the Law on Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions (CAATSA).

Recall that the CAATSA law was a response to the alleged Russian interference in the US presidential elections. This document allows Washington to freeze assets and prohibit American financial institutions from cooperating with states that conclude major arms deals with Moscow.

Speaking about the behavior of the American side in the situation with the purchase of S-400 by Turkey, member of the Federation Council Olga Kovitidi noted that such decisions only increase tension.

Read more: Top 5 best anti-aircraft missile systems in the World

“The United States is using proven political and economic instruments. The submission to the US Congress of the bill on sanctions against Turkey is a recognition of the limitations of certain strategic positions. With such decisions, Washington shows growing concern,” the senator said in an interview with RT.

Note that in December 2019, the US Senate International Committee approved a bill that provides for the imposition of sanctions against Turkey for the purchase of Russian S-400s. The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned this step of the American side.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that these actions are a new manifestation of disrespect for Turkey’s sovereign decisions regarding its national security.

Later, the head of state, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, spoke on the issue of sanctions due to the purchase of S-400 systems by Turkey. He said that Ankara could close the Incirlik and Kurecik bases for US troops if Washington imposes sanctions.

As Erdogan noted, for both countries “it is very important that the United States does not take steps that cannot be corrected” in bilateral relations. The President added that “Turkey will respond to any US sanctions.”

Moscow and Ankara signed a contract for the supply of S-400 systems in 2017, and the first complexes entered the customer’s disposal at the end of 2019. It was expected that the air defense system will begin work in Turkey in April 2020, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the introduction of the systems was postponed.

Read more: Russia and Turkey will start joint production of S-400 defense system and transfer of technologies

For several years, the United States has been actively criticizing Turkey’s decision to acquire the S-400 systems from Russia. Washington argued its position by the fact that Turkey’s use of Russian-developed systems threatens cooperation between Washington and Ankara in the field of weapons programs. One of the consequences of Turkey’s decision to buy the S-400 was the exclusion of the Turkish side from the F-35 fighter supply program.

Later, a number of local media reported that Ankara was considering buying Russian Su-35 fighters, but the Turkish defense ministry then denied this information. At the same time, at the end of 2019, the head of the secretariat of the defense industry under the administration of the President of Turkey, Ismail Demir, said that the Turkish side is studying Russia’s proposal for the Su-35.

We add that later in the American Senate they proposed to buy the S-400 air defense system from Turkey, but the Russian Foreign Ministry ruled out this possibility. Ankara, in turn, promised to ensure the security of data on Russian anti-aircraft missile systems.

Alexei Podberezkin, director of the MGIMO Center for Military-Political Studies, believes that the next US initiative will not affect Turkey in any way.

“These threats are no longer new. It should be understood that purchasing the S-400 is not buying a pair of boots in a store, it is a huge complex, quite expensive. The conditions of his service are being spoken out … and the Turkish servicemen went through the whole process of education, training … That is, a large and expensive work was done, and it would be, to put it mildly, wrong, frivolous to refuse it just like that,” the expert said in an interview with RT

Read more: USA to Turkey: Because of the Russian S-400 Your Deliveries Associated with F-35 Have Been Suspended

He drew attention to the risks for the United States associated with the military base mentioned by Erdogan. According to Podberyozkin, this location is of great importance for Washington and the readiness of the Turkish leadership to review its status indicates the possibility of the Turkish side responding to sanctions.

Incirlik and Kureggik

Incirlik military base, located in eastern Turkey, was originally built for the needs of the US military. The United States used its infrastructure for operations during the campaigns in the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Syria.

The Kurejik radio detection station is located southeast of Incirlik. It is part of NATO’s missile defense structure. The early warning radar is owned by the US and used by the US military.

In 1975, Turkey already restricted access to Incirlik to the US military. This was Ankara’s response to the embargo that Washington imposed on arms supplies to Turkey. Then the base was used only for NATO purposes, the remaining operations were suspended. The embargo was lifted in 1978.

However, Turkey is already testing the capabilities of the S-400 on US fighter jets

As we reported on July 8, the functionality of the Russian S-400 air defense systems was tested on American fighters, which approached the Turkish air base.

Testing passed despite a US warning about the possible imposition of sanctions. Similar weapons tests took place in the fall of 2019. Earlier, the purchase of S-400 by Turkey became a stumbling block in relations with the United States.

Read more: Ankara Would Turn to the International Court if Washington Refuses to Implement the Contract for F-35

Not far from Ankara, the Turkish military began new tests of anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) S-400. They sent them from the Myurt air base against the American F-16 and F-4 fighters, according to Fighter Jets World.

The portal notes that testing of Russian weapons began on July 4 and will last several months – until November 26. According to the publication, the Turkish authorities ignored the US warning about the possible imposition of sanctions in the event of air defense missile tests.

Tests of the S-400 took place in Turkey last fall. Missile systems were then also tested on American aircraft that flew over Ankara at various altitudes, and Russian systems controlled the sky.

In an FAN commentary, military expert Alexei Leonkov said the S-400 had proven that it could fix US stealth fighters.

The agency notes that the fifth-generation American fighter 200 km from the military base “saw” the air defense system. The Turkish military decided to use this opportunity to test Russian systems for real purposes. Leonkov suggested that Turkish air defense calculations tested the radar system of the Russian air defense system.

“When irradiation occurs, the missiles do not start, but the entire program is being worked out: detection, tracking of targets and launch. Moreover, everything is done in electronic form, and automation calculates the hit of a rocket. That is, it’s like for educational purposes, but without rocket launches,” the specialist explained.

He stressed that the Russian side “always said” that air defense systems detect US fighters. “They are seen by both the S-300, S-400, and Buki, as their systems use phased array antennas operating in the range that the stealth fixes. There is a mark of the target, and the radar system notices it, there is a resolution that it sees,” said the expert.

Read more: ‘It is Not Fair’ That Washington Cannot Sell Ankara F-35 Fighter Jets, Donald Trump Said

Leonkov added that the only advantage of stealth in this case is their detection at a closer distance. “But even if these comrades flew not 300 km, but 300, they would still be seen. The reaction time of the systems allows us to assume that, while these aircraft will do something, the S-400 missiles will catch up with them. By the way, the Chinese also successfully tested the S-400 missile to the maximum range and launched a maneuvering target,” added the agency’s interlocutor.

Russian-Turkish talks on S-400s second batch delivery are in an advanced stage

As we reported on June 2 the negotiations between Russia and Turkey on the delivery of the second set of S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft systems are in an advanced stage.

“Negotiations are underway, this is a laborious process that requires a certain amount of time. But given the current restrictions in connection with the pandemic, it is not very grateful to predict the terms of concluding this contract,” the head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Dmitry Shugaev said then.

Shugaev noted that at the moment the parties are awaiting the final decision of Turkey.

Why S-400 and F-35 are incompatible?

If Turkey acquired the S-400 alongside the F-35, the technology that makes that aircraft lethal could potentially be compromised. This opinion was expressed by hundreds of experts last year, including us.

NATO states use a tactical data link that allows military aircraft and even ships and ground troops to share their tactical pictures in near-real time. This is called Link 16. NATO aircraft also use Identification Friend or Foe systems, known as IFF, to identify friendly aircraft in the sky.

Read more: ‘If Turkey Does Not Get the F-35, We’ll Looking for Alternatives’, the Turkish Foreign Minister Said

An IFF and Link 16 interrogator would have to be integrated into the S-400 system to allow the Turkish F-35, with the transponder, to fly within lethal range of the S-400.

This opens up all Link 16 and IFF tactical data link equipment to be compromised, a former radar and weapons expert said on background.

“With the F-35 flying in close proximity to the S-400 system, over time, you could collect sensitive stealth characteristics of this F-35 and learn its detailed stealth capabilities,” the expert said.

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