US wants access to Russian-made S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft system

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Washington wants access to the Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft system. They have made such a request to Turkey so far. The news was announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mr. Mevlüt Cavusoglu. The request was sent to Ankara with the hope that the obtained data would be provided to Ukraine.

Photo credit: Fresh News

Mr. Cavusoglu spoke on the subject on Turkish television, after which Habertürk newspaper quoted him in its article. The Turkish foreign minister announced that Turkey cannot carry out such an action, as it would undermine its authority, sovereignty, and independence. It was on the word sovereignty that Mr. Cavusoglu emphasized, saying that the American request “directly affects our sovereignty”.

It is also clear from the interview with the Turkish foreign minister that Washington has “made other proposals” that also directly “affect our sovereignty”. The minister wanted to say what is “one of the other scandals”a delivery of S-400 directly to Ukraine. However, Turkey flatly refused.

At the end of last year, Ankara officially announced that the Turkish S-400 system had reached its operational combat readiness. Mr. Hulusi Akar, Minister of Defense of Turkey announced on November 23 to NTV that the Turkish S-400 is ready to be used at any time. Turkey has not yet revealed where the Russian air defense system is installed, but according to open data, it is believed that the system is located at the Anamur-Mersin military base.

In the last two or three years, Turkey has conducted several tests of the S-400. One was off the coast of the Black Sea, while another almost caused an international scandal. In 2020, the Turkish S-400 radar locked a Greek F-16 fighter. This test even reached the US Congress. Such an incident is one of the reasons why the US still refuses to sell the F-16 Block 70 to Turkey.

Earlier in 2019, Turkey tested the S-400’s radar against its older F-16s. The US also learned about this test and expressed serious concern that it is possible not only to learn the weaknesses of the F-16 but also to share some of the information with Russia. Turkey dismissed the latest claim from Washington as a possibility.

According to claims in the Russian media, Russia has already used the S-400 in the war in Ukraine. In Russia, they claim that at the beginning of the war, an S-400 from Belarus intercepted a Ukrainian Su-27 over Kyiv and managed to shoot it down. It is said that the interception and downing of the fighter took place at a distance of 150 km.

Mr. Cavusoglu reaffirmed that Turkey will not give up the Russian S-400 system at the expense of the F-35. The foreign minister said that the F-35s are no longer of interest to Turkey. This announcement comes amid the recent unveiling of the first operational prototype of Turkey’s fifth-generation KAAN fighter jet.

Back in 2020, Washington imposed sanctions on Turkey’s defense industry and kicked the country out of its F-35 fighter jet program over Ankara’s decision to buy Russian military equipment.

Photo credit: MWM

The US has refused to deliver the already ordered jets to Turkey, claiming that Ankara’s purchase of the Russian system would “jeopardize the security of US military technology”.

At the same time, Washington wants money from Turkey for the upcoming production of Turkish F-35s on the territory of the United States. Turkey refuses to pay them and wants the money given to acquire the manufactured F-35s, which never arrived on Turkish soil.

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