Recently Turkish S-400 ‘caught’ an F-22, an F-35 and several F-16s

Undoubtedly, the possible delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine keeps the media headlines at the top of the information field. Countless figures are being circulated in praise of the F-16, which some say will change the course of the war in Ukraine.

Russia deployed S-400s near universities and parks in Moscow
Photo credit: Fresh News

All this, of course, refers to the field of military propaganda and is not justified by any strategic calculations. The common man, however, acts either too depressingly or too optimistically, depending on personal sympathies. That’s why we need to recall some existing facts so that the public will not be surprised again if the F-16 does not perform as it is currently being praised.

Sober opinion

No, there are some sober voices, like the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, who, as his impending retirement approaches, has begun to say something that runs counter to pure propaganda. We will paraphrase the words of General Milley, who said that Russia has hundreds of 4th generation aircraft, and to achieve a radical change, it is necessary for Ukraine to also receive hundreds of 4th and 5th generation aircraft. “Now compare the price, the maintenance costs, and other conditions. And that’s why I’m in favor of more integrated means of air defense,” were Milley’s words.

General Mark Milley: The Afghan war is a strategic failure for us
Photo credit: Afghan News

By the way, for some reason, the factor of the multi-layered air defense of the Russian armed forces is usually dismissed in any conversation about the potential range of the same F-16s.

So it’s as if Russia doesn’t exist at all. But we all know that’s not the case. And we know very well. And the fact that the F-16 for a modern anti-aircraft gunner is a rather convenient target, large and in modern times not too fast and maneuverable, is no secret.

Turkey captured several F-16s

Let me remind you once again that immediately after receiving the first full-fledged S-400 “Triumph” complex [under the 2017 contract], the Turks organized the most realistic and actual combat test, which, in their own words, “the Russians could not afford.”

Syria tried to take down Turkish F-16 with Russian-made S-200
Photo credit: Wikipedia

In a way, they were right. Because Almaz-Antey is unlikely to find two squadrons of the most genuine F-16s, of which Turkey has almost more than all other countries of the North Atlantic Alliance [more than 200 units].

These severe tests took place at the Murted base near Ankara and consisted of numerous training attacks that Turkish war falcons carried out on the Russian S-400. According to Turkish sources, the F-16s and older F-4s are trying to make calls at different altitudes, resorting to complex group maneuvers. But each time they were spotted even before they could strike with an anti-radar missile. All of them received notification of simulated anti-aircraft missile strikes against them.

F-22 and F-35 were also “caught”

When American aircraft approach Murted at a distance of 170-200 kilometers during a rotation to the Middle East, the S-400 tracks American stealth fighters.

F-35 will carry solid rocket-ramjet AARGM-ER: INS/GPS, 250km range
Photo credit: USAF

And such tests were performed at least three times. Not only the F-35 but the F-22 Raptor was intercepted by the S-400 on the same route. During this transition, the aerodynamic capabilities of the Turkish S-400 were also tested.

This story then caused a terrible scandal in the Alliance. Despite all the attempts, as they say, not to wash dirty linen in public places, it spilled out onto the pages of all kinds of “authoritative” publications.

First, the test of the S-400 of the F-16 was carried out on the eve of the meeting of the heads of the NATO military departments. And second, according to some high-ranking Air Force officials, the Russian compound counted and sent to Russian intelligence all possible information about the F-16.

Turkey did Russia a favor

A significant number of Russian analysts believe that the sale of the S-400 to Turkey is almost an act of undermining national interests. For some reason, the Alliance thinks just the opposite. The Turkish S-400 is not called anything other than the “Russian Trojan horse” and they are sure that everything that falls on the radars of the Triumf and is recorded by its sensors, immediately ends up on the table of Russian intelligence.

No amount of F-22s can help America deal with Russia in Syria
Photo credit: Pixabay

One thing can be said for sure: Turkey paid a very high price for the S-400, much higher than the nominal value of the contract [Turkey’s exit from the F-35 program].

But at the same time, the Russian air defense system is highly valued by Ankara. Moreover, Turkey does not intend to hand over the S-400 to a third country and does not react to the open American blackmail in this area. And this, knowing the complexity of Russian-Turkish relations, is already worth a lot.


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