Missiles in the Black Sea: Turkey tested Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems

MOSCOW, (BM) – Turkey conducted the first tests of the S-400 air defense systems purchased from Russia. The shooting took place in the northern Sinop region on the Black Sea coast of Turkey, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Russian news agencies Gazeta.ru and Defense News.

Read more: Turkey already has the latest generation missiles for its S-400 anti-aircraft systems

Several days, Turkey issued notices about the restriction of airspace and waters off the Black Sea coast for launching S-400 air defense missile systems. The United States harshly criticized reports of upcoming exercises. “We are clearly aware of the possible serious implications for our security relations if Turkey activates this system,” said US State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus.

She recalled that Ankara and Washington have military commitments. “If confirmed, we will condemn in the strongest possible terms the test launch of S-400 missiles. This is an action incompatible with Turkey’s responsibilities as a NATO ally and strategic partner of the United States,” the diplomat added.

The Turkish Defense Ministry said it would neither deny nor confirm the missile tests. Last week, US Senators Chris Van Hollen [Democrat from Maryland] and James Lankford [Republican from Oklahoma] sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outraged by Ankara’s S-400 trials.

It was prompted by media reports that Turkey was tracking American F-16 fighters flying in the eastern Mediterranean during the joint Eunomia exercise in August involving France, Italy, Greece and Cyprus.

“The reports of this activation clearly show that Turkey does not intend to change course and abandon this system,” the senators wrote. Legislators have demanded more information on the alleged activation of the S-400: Could Turkey gain access to NATO’s tactical data link (Channel 16) via the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system?

Also, US lawmakers asked: can Russia use this loophole to spy on America’s allies? Channel 16 or Link 16 [TADIL J] is a type of military tactical data exchange network, in near real time. Used by the USA and NATO countries. It is one of the constituent parts of the TADIL [Tactical Digital Information Link] family of tactical data networks.

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It is a communication, navigation and identification system that supports the exchange of data between tactical command, aircraft, ships and ground units. In August of this year, Russia signed a second contract with Turkey for the supply of the S-400 regiment, the general director of Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheev reported at the Army-2020 forum.

The first contract for the supply of S-400 complexes to Ankara was signed by Russia in 2017. Turkey became the first NATO country to acquire these systems from Moscow. The deal was worth $ 2.5 billion, half of which is covered by a Russian loan. The first deliveries began on July 12 last year.

The contract sparked outrage from the United States, which urged Turkey to abandon the deal and purchase American Patriot systems instead. NATO as a whole is no less actively opposed to Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400. This is due to the fact that Washington and Brussels feared a leak through the S-400 Triumph of data revealing the capabilities of the American fifth-generation fighters F-35 Lightning II.

For this reason, Washington has suspended Ankara’s participation in the manufacture of parts for these aircraft. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded by saying that instead of American fighters, his country could buy Su-35 and Su-57 fighters from Russia.

US sanctions will not violate the contract between Moscow and Ankara, assured Vladimir Dzhabarov, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs. For his part, Republican Senator John Thune proposed to buy S-400 from Ankara in order to eliminate the disagreements between Washington and the Turkish state on this issue.

The S-400 “Triumph” air defense system can hit strategic and tactical aircraft, as well as ballistic missiles, hypersonic targets and other air attack weapons.

Read more: Russia and Turkey discuss the supply of an additional batch of S-400 missile system

Turkey tried to detect weaknesses of the S-400 missile system during tests

Tests of the S-400 by the Turkish military made it possible to assess the effectiveness of the Russian systems, and probably to find weaknesses, learned BulgarianMilitary.com on July 10 citing the former deputy commander of the air defense forces of the USSR Ground Forces, Lieutenant General Alexander Luzan.

“During the test of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, the Turkish military discovered aircraft and carried out so-called electronic launches on them. This allows us to simultaneously study the features of the application, evaluate the effectiveness, perhaps another goal was to find the weaknesses of the system,” Luzan told RIA Novosti.

He explained that it is “technically impossible” to extract technologies from the S-400, because Turkey has to study these systems “empirically”.

In November 2019, Turkey also tested S-400 radar stations using the F-16 U.S. fighter-bombers. The tests were filmed on video. The United States expressed concern about this.

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

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.

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.

What S-400 missile system is?

S-400 Triumph is a Russian long-range and medium-range anti-aircraft missile system, anti-aircraft missile system (SAM). S-400 is designed to destroy all modern and promising means of aerospace attack [including hypersonic].

According to Western analysts, the S-400, along with systems such as the Iskander OTRK and coastal anti-ship systems of the Bastion class, plays a key role in the new concept of the Russian Armed Forces, known in the West as the “Access Denied Zone” [Anti-Access / Area Denial, A2 / AD], which consists in the fact that NATO troops cannot be and move within the range of A2 / AD restricted area systems without the risk of causing unacceptable damage to them.

Read more: Russian S-300 and S-400 missile systems have been transferred to Belarus

Triumph is the name of the export version. The market price of one division of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system is about $ 500 million.

Technical characteristics of S-400 missile system

The performance characteristics of the S-400 Triumph are: detects a target at a distance of 600 km; strikes a target at a distance of 400 km; the maximum speed of the hit targets – 4.8 km / s; at the same time can fire 36 targets with pointing up to 72 missiles on them; deployment time of the system from the stowed state – 5-10 minutes; the time to bring the system’s assets into combat readiness from the deployed state is 3 minutes.

How does the Triumph air defense system work?

The S-400 Triumph is not just an installation for launching missiles, but a whole complex of coordinated and complex systems, the components of which are located on high-cross-country vehicles.

The entire process from detecting to destroying a target occurs automatically:

  • The radar system (radar) detects hundreds of targets within a radius of 600 km and determines their nationality.
  • Data is sent to the command post (55K6E). He, in turn, distributes targets between several launchers (5P85TE2).
  • Each command post can simultaneously control eight air defense systems, each of which carries up to 12 launchers. They, in turn, accommodate four missiles with different masses, launch ranges and capabilities.
  • Depending on the type of target, an air defense system selects a missile. The S-400 Triumph is armed with missiles with different weights, launch ranges and capabilities: 48N6E, 48N6E2, 48N6E3, 9M96E and 9M96E2.
  • Ultra-long-range missiles (up to 400 km) are capable of destroying targets even beyond the reach of targeting locators, for which they have unique homing heads. After climbing at the command of such a rocket itself goes into search mode.


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