US Complains That Turkey Is Testing Its Own Air Defense Missiles

That it bought from Russia

From an earlier test in 2019

Related: Turkey Tests F-16s and F-4s Against S-400 Radars in Defiance of US Sanctions Threats

The Pentagon and State Department issued strong rebukes Friday following reports that Turkey’s military tested a Russia-made missile system, a move that could further stoke tensions [how?] between Washington and the NATO member.

In recent days, Turkey said it was preparing to test the Russian-made S-400, a mobile surface-to-air missile system, that is believed to pose a risk to the NATO alliance [how?] as well as America’s most expensive weapons platform: Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter.

Ankara brokered a deal with Moscow in 2017 for the S-400, despite warnings from the United States and other NATO allies. Moscow delivered the first of four missile batteries in July 2019. A week later, the United States cut Turkey, a financial and manufacturing partner, from the F-35 program after Ankara accepted delivery of the Russian-made system.

Both the departments of Defense and State condemned Friday’s apparent missile test off Turkey’s Black Sea coast but would not confirm if the launch occurred.

“The United States has expressed to the Government of Turkey, at the most senior levels, that the acquisition of Russian military systems such as the S-400 is unacceptable,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus wrote in an emailed statement. “The United States has been clear on our expectation that the S-400 system should not be operationalized,” she added.

“We object to Turkey’s purchase of the system and are deeply concerned with reports that Turkey is bringing it into operation. It should not be activated. Doing so risks serious consequences for our security relationship,” echoed chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman in an emailed statement Friday.

Striking a deal with the Kremlin

The S-400, the successor to the S-200 and S-300 missile systems, made its debut in 2007. Compared with U.S. systems, the Russian-made S-400 is believed to be capable of engaging a wider array of targets, at longer ranges and against multiple threats simultaneously.

In multiple efforts to deter Turkey from buying the S-400, the State Department offered in 2013 and 2017 to sell the country Raytheon’s Patriot missile system. Ankara passed on the Patriot both times because the U.S. declined to provide a transfer of the system’s sensitive missile technology.

In 2017, Turkish President Recep Erdogan brokered a deal reportedly worth $2.5 billion with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the S-400 despite warnings from the U.S. that buying the system would come with political and economic consequences.

Under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which President Donald Trump signed in August 2017, Turkey could be slapped with economic sanctions for accepting the Kremlin’s missile system. The United States has not issued these sanctions on Turkey.

“The administration’s peculiar failure to implement CAATSA as the law requires is both a moral hazard and in marked contrast with the posture of ‘maximum pressure’ pursued in so many other cases,” explained Thomas Karako, director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“Erdogan seems to have made a strategic choice to prefer Russia over the United States and other NATO allies. There are some hard questions that need to be raised about just what kind of ally Turkey is, exactly, and the future of Turkey’s place in NATO,” Karako added.

Despite facing potential U.S. sanctions, a dozen countries have expressed interest in buying Russia’s S-400 missile system.

Source: CNBC

  1. Jihadi Colin says

    Testing the S400 against an F4? What next, testing it against a Spitfire? A Fokker D7?

  2. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

    Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter is a long way from being “America’s most expensive weapons platform.”

  3. ke4ram says

    The US will likely do what it usually does,,, basically copy it (S400). Could be in cahoots with Turkey but making it look the opposite. I don’t think it was/is wise for Russia to sell one of their highest rated systems to any NATO member or other country on the US payroll…. unless they have some sort of control I am unaware of.

    The US has done very little on its own,,, Its fantastic space program was basically engineered by ex Nazis from Germany,,, for fairness so was the USSR space program.

    The Germans used to be a highly intelligent race but most of that has been diluted which is still ongoing, their IQ’s dropping over the last 75 years. Don’t pay much attention to the world IQ maps. They have the Russians below the UK which engineers very little. The S400-500, the Soyuz rockets, and other Russian systems along with their aircraft (that actually work) are visual proof the maps are wrong.

    I am not for or against Russia,,, but just looking around at what their doing shows their preponderance for engineering.

    1. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

      It is very hard to copy that which one is most likely to acquire by being targeted by it.
      Russia has always had a “preponderance for engineering,” whatever that means.

      1. ke4ram says

        “It is very hard to copy that which one is most likely to acquire by being targeted by it.”

        That will be the first phase of copying. They will use the signatures, etc for electronic countermeasures. Then they will reverse engineer.

        “whatever that means.”

        That means they they’re strength is engineering. Maybe I should have used ‘aptitude”?
        Hope this helps your confusion.”

        1. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

          The S-400’s countermeasures can beat the best we have ever developed.
          If you doubt this, read up on the USS Donald Cook’s adventure in the Black Sea with a MiG.
          I’m not the one who was confused when you used the wrong word, Kenneth.

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