MOSCOW, (BM) – Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 surface to air missile system has led to serious questions particularly from other members of NATO alliance regarding the compatibility of the platform with the alliance’s military hardware, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
Ankara has been put under considerable pressure, including expulsion from the F-35 fighter program and threats of economic sanctions, not to purchase the Russian system – with Western made platforms and particularly the American Patriot system highlighted as leading alternatives.
Recent information regarding the S-400 batteries delivered to Turkey, the first of which were activated in a limited capacity in early December, indicates that Russia has modified the system to be able to better operate alongside other NATO hardware including both that operated by other alliance members and that which is already in the Turkish inventory.
A friend or foe identification system has reportedly been installed on Turkish S-400 systems which was built to a NATO standard, meaning the aircraft would not register NATO jets from Turkey’s own F-4E Phantoms to allied American F-15 Eagles as adversaries.
The coded waveforms that this identification system uses are reportedly kept secure within a Turkish made cryptologic system which Russia does not have direct access to – a means of assuaging the alliance’s concerns regarding the possible military advantages the system could provide Russia in the event of a major conflict.
Turkey tested these identification systems in late November, alongside testing of the S-400’s sensors – which were used to track Turkish F-16 fighters flying near the air defence batteries. Despite the security provided by the new identification system, Western opposition to the Turkish S-400 acquisition is unlikely to be assuaged.
The purchase hinders Western efforts to undermine Russia’s defence sector by cutting its arms exports, and revenues from the sale will be used to support research and development for future more capable Russian systems.
The fact that Ankara chose the S-400 over Western analogues despite considerable political pressure also demonstrates the favourability of the Russian platform both in terms of cost effectiveness and combat performance.
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Source: Military Watch Magazine