Bit confusing…

4 April 2022

Story Reads Almost as a Joke: Russia’s S-400 Air Defense System Contemplated by US-NATO to “Defend Ukraine against Russia”

Turkey says Nyet to Washington’s Request to Transfer their S-400 ADS to Ukraine.

By Peter Koenig

(I’m confused by this,and I’m posting the story!!)

This story may read almost as a joke. But it’s the truth.

On March 20, Reuter reports that Washington has asked Turkey, one of the NATO Alliance’s most important member, mostly for her strategic location, to transfer to Ukraine their Russian top of the line and cutting edge S-400 Triumph Air Defense System (ADS).

The US and NATO wanted Ukraine be equipped with efficient anti-aircraft missiles, but were unwilling – or afraid? – to supply Ukraine with the US Patriot system. Maybe because they did not want to get directly “seriously” involved in the war, or more likely, they were afraid that their Patriot system could end up in the hand of the Russian military.

The Russian S-400 is categorized by experts as “superior to the American Patriot”.

The S-400 has a 4,800 km/h target speed and can reach enemy aircraft, ballistic missiles and AWACS planes at 400 km and 250 km; the medium-range 120 km, and the short-range 40 km. AWACS stands for Airborne Warning And Control System. It is a mobile, long-range radar surveillance and control center for air defense.

Compare this with the US-made Lockheed Martin Patriot system which has an operational range of 40 km and can intercept targets at altitudes of up to 24.2 km whereas interceptors from THAAD system have an operational range of more than 200 km and can hit the targets at altitudes of up to 150 km.

Due to its relatively short-range target reach, the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has successfully demonstrated the interoperability of two key US ADS — Patriot and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

Due to its relatively short-range target reach, the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has successfully demonstrated the interoperability of two key US ADS — Patriot and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

Even the combination of the two is considerably inferior to Russia’s S-400.

So, why would Washington offer Turkey an inferior system to give up its Russian S-400?

Turkey has already been “sanctioned” for having purchased a Russian ADS, being a NATO member. It’s the “sanctions game” all over again. Turkey, like most countries, is getting seriously tired of this desperate US sanctioning for every country that refuses to follow Washington’s tune. But Turkey said NO. Period.

Washington has repeatedly affirmed it won’t reverse any of these “sanctions” until Ankara completely removes all S-400s and their components from Turkish soil. But Turkey stands solid.

The following timeline presents the main developments on the issue over the past year and their impact on Turkey’s relations with the United States, its NATO ally.

July 25, 2017 – President Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey has made progress in plans to procure the [Russian] S-400 missile defense system and signatures have been signed.

Dec 12, 2017 – Russia has offered Turkey partial financing for Ankara’s purchase of their ADS, Interfax news agency reports, citing a Russian presidential aide.

Dec 27, 2017 – The head of Russia’s Rostec corporation, Sergei Chemzov, says the S-400 contract is worth $2.5 billion, according to Kommersant daily.

Dec 29, 2017 – Turkey and Russia have signed an accord regarding supply of the systems, CNN Turk and other media said.

June 19, 2018 – A U.S. Senate committee passes a spending bill including a provision to block Turkey’s purchase of Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets unless it drops the plan to buy the S-400s.

March 28, 2019 – U.S. Senators introduce a bipartisan bill to prohibit the transfer of F-35 fighter aircraft to Turkey until the U.S. government certifies that Ankara will not take delivery of the S-400s.

April 3, 2019 – Turkey proposes to the United States to form a working group to determine that the S-400s do not pose a threat to U.S. or NATO military equipment.

June 7, 2019 – The United States decides to stop accepting any additional Turkish pilots to train on F-35 fighter jets.

End of story?

Not quite, as the US, desperate to win this argument, keeps pushing Turkey in one way or another to get rid of the S-400 Air Defense System and purchase instead the considerably inferior Patriot system.

But Turkey keeps saying nyet.  See this Forbes report.

*

It is laughable how Washington cannot accept defeat, even if there is no chance to reverse Turkey’s opinion – and knowing that Turkey is a crucial, maybe the most crucial NATO member.

Already in 2017, in an action of mistrust, NATO has removed all nuclear power heads from Turkish soil and transferred most of them to Italy, making Italy thereby a de facto nuclear power. NATO countries may use their nuclear war heads on their soil in cases of self-defense.

Turkey is playing both cards: a crucial NATO member, and an ally of Russia. Erdogan has always an eye to the east and maybe the other one to the west, attempting to say “good-bye”- yet still not quite.

What is interesting and yes, laughable is that Washington even tries to convince Turkey to trade her way superior Russian S-400 system against the US Patriot, which would be deployed to Defend Ukraine against Russia:

recent weeks several proposals have been made to arm Ukraine with Russian-built military hardware from the arsenals of NATO member states.

Now, American officials are proposing that NATO member Turkey could potentially arm Ukraine with the much more sophisticated Russian-built S-400 missiles it took delivery of in 2019.

“It is the very system, made by Russia, that American officials punished Turkey — a NATO ally — for buying from Moscow several years ago,” the New York Times noted

.

Now American diplomats see a way to pull Turkey away from its dance with Russia — and give the Ukrainians one of the most powerful, long-range antiaircraft systems in existence.”

What the US media fails to address: How effective (from a strategic standpoint) would a Russian produced S-400 Air Defense system be in “defending Ukraine against Russia”??

Why on earth would Ukraine want a Russian air-defense system, which automatically communicates with its producer, so whatever move the Ukraine military would attempt to make with an S-400 system, Russia would immediately know about it?

India has also purchased the Russian S-400 in November 2021. They call it a “Game Changer.” They are excited about their acquisition, stationing it in the west of the country. Is it there that they need most air defense power?

Why would the US make a foregone futile attempt to convince Turkey to ship their S-400 system to Ukraine, and that in return for lifting US sanctions and for having to purchase the inferior US Patriot air defense system? It’s a mystery, other than the US desperation – one of a sinking ship – is getting so great, that the don’t know any more what they are doing.

The missiles in question-

One thought on “Bit confusing…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: