Will Erdogan draw a crescent and star on Russian Su-35 fighters?
ANKARA, (BM) – Professor of Bahcesehir University [Istanbul] Abdullah Agar, a recognized expert on national security, made important statements about relations between Turkey, America and Russia, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
He said that after purchasing the S-400, Turkey will take another step towards the contract for the Russian Su-35 fighters. And, with a very high probability, he will buy them. And the United States, it seems, will grind down exactly as it did after the delivery of the Triumph air defense system. Ankara has already chosen a strategy against possible US sanctions. This was reported by the Turkish newspaper Milli Gazete.
According to Abdullah Agar, Turkey does not want the F-35, also because it will not be able to use it to protect its gas interests in the eastern Mediterranean. He also believes that Moscow, even if it does not make large profits, will at least benefit from NATO’s growing vulnerability.
However, Erdogan, by and large, has no choice, since France has already sent Rafale fighters to Crete to protect Cyprus and Greece from a possible Turkish annexation of the oil and gas shelf, which is located in the disputed sea area.
Egypt also declared its readiness to enter the warpath with the Turks, thereby defending its economic interests, which received the status of internationally recognized after the signing of the Egyptian-Cypriot agreement on the delimitation of national exclusive economic zones (EEZ) in the eastern Mediterranean on August 9.
The problem is not even in Erdogan’s Ottoman ambitions, although they undoubtedly exist. Living standards in Turkey are falling. Ankara can only break out of impending poverty through new gas fields found in the eastern Mediterranean. However, the same motive drives both the Greeks and the Egyptians.
The fight is going to be serious. Ankara still has a historical right to the disputed region in the light of the Cyprus Convention of June 4, 1878. True, it seems that the subsequent international treaties drawn up by the British put an end to it, but Turkey did not recognize the redistribution of the Mediterranean.
Okay, if it was about the sea surface and lines on the map, but now we are talking about tens, if not hundreds of billions of dollars. Turkish nationalists and so-called statesmen simply will not forgive Erdogan for surrendering his national interests.
It is also clear that in the event of a clash between Ankara on the one hand and Athens, Cairo and Paris, on the other, the Turkish Air Force, which is based on the F-16, will be left without ammunition and spare parts. The Yankees will simply stop supplying them, or even block departures altogether.
And then there was information that the Azerbaijani military, the best friends of the Turkish army, are very pleased with the Russian fighters. By the way, in the summer of 2020, as part of military-technical cooperation, they visited factories for the production of Su-35 and MiG-35 combat aircraft.
As Turkish blogger İktisatçı writes: “Turkey may well take the Su-35 and Su-57. Azerbaijan has been using Russian fighters for many years and does not refuse. Until Turkey builds its own aircraft, Russian fighters will serve us well. The Su-35 and Su-57 also have very advanced technology, which is also very good. But the F-35 is a problem aircraft.”
Another blogger Özgür Peltek from Istanbul is of the same opinion: “The Su-35, like the F-35, are temporary aircraft until Turkey has its own MMU fighter, which is being created by the Turkish companies TUSAŞ Motor Industry, ASELSAN, ROKETSAN, Gür Metal, Repkon Machinery Company and SAH Istanbul. Its maiden flight will take place in 2023. We are now, like a sponge, absorbing American and Russian technologies.”
Ankara participated and, according to some sources, continues to participate in the program for the production of parts for the F-35, so it knows what kind of machine it is – the American invisibility. Moreover, 4 fighters of this type are already gathering dust in the hangars of the Turkish Air Force.
According to the Pentagon’s Defense News portal, eight Turkish companies produce products for the fuselage, landing gear and cockpit displays – about 900 parts in total. In terms of money, here the figures from the US Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin, which produces the F-35, differ significantly.
The Pentagon assures that the Turks will lose up to $ 9 billion in orders from the interruption of this program, and Lockheed Martin believes that no more than $ 1 billion, and $ 500 million will be required to move production from Turkey to the United States. By American standards, very little money, which speaks only of small things produced in Turkey and a screwdriver assembly.
Yet, despite the threats, Trump did not close the door for Turkish companies under contracts with Lockheed Martin. It is obvious that Washington does not want a geopolitical break with Ankara, they say, Erdogan will sooner or later disappear from big politics, and NATO will remain forever.
Actually, Ankara does not even think about withdrawing from the North Atlantic Alliance, so the purchases of a small batch of Su-35 or even Su-57 will hardly have a dramatic effect on relations between Washington and Ankara. Moreover, the Americans are already aware of the talks on the Sukhoi aircraft. As Military Watch writes, citing a reliable source, “the deal does not seem too distant,” Turkey will buy from Russia two squadrons of fighters, each of which will consist of about two dozen aircraft.
On the one hand, the acquisition of 40 Su-35s will make Turkey the largest foreign operator of this type of fighter, on the other hand, against the background of 240 F-16s, our aircraft are unlikely to become a dominant feature in the Turkish Air Force. There is no doubt that they are being bought only for the “gas” war with Greece and Egypt.
It is known from open sources that the base price of the Su-35 is about $ 40-65 million, and the F-35 is about $ 100-110 million, but taking into account ground equipment, spare engines, ammunition and training, the difference becomes manifold. It can be assumed that the amount of a possible contract between Moscow and Ankara, although kept secret, will not exceed $ 4 billion. Moreover, a significant part of them will be loans.
Will 40 “dryers” be enough to gain air supremacy in battles with the air forces of Greece and Egypt? If you compare in quantity, then no: even the Greeks have 156 F-16 Fighting Falcon (Fighting Falcon), as well as 22 Mirage 2000. If you add another 200 Egyptian F-16, then the balance of power leaves no chance at all for the “Turkish” Su-35 … Of course, the outcome of air battles is influenced not only by the number of aircraft and not even by the training of pilots, although these factors cannot be underestimated.
The Americans, as you know, in the development of their fighters focused on avionics, radars, information communications, and so on, that is, on what will enable them to succeed in air warfare beyond the visual range. This fully applies to the F-16, which can defeat the Su-35 only with a strike from afar. In any case, this is the official point of view of US Air Force strategists.
Of course, the Su-35 has good protection against remote missile strikes, but this is where the training of pilots and dispatchers of ground and space services becomes especially important. It is not a fact that the Turks on the “dryers” will be as effective as our pilots and aerospace forces operators.
Whether Moscow wants it or not, it will have to provide maximum assistance to Ankara if, God forbid, she unleashes a war with Athens and Cairo. Washington, too, will not stand aside, and will help the Greeks and Egyptians in every possible way, protecting the image of its “Battle Falcon”.
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