Russian S-400s tested in Turkey

Translated by Scott Hunor


The Turks counted on the high combat qualities of the Russian s-400 anti-aircraft missile system and the complexes exceeded their expectations, despite the fact that their flyby program in its saturation and intensity exceeded similar Russian drills.

After the delivery of the first regimental set of anti-aircraft missile systems S-400 Triumph to Turkey, they have already been tested and showed results that exceeded the expectations of the buyer, according to the source of the familiar with the situation.

During the testing, as a rule, it is specified at what ranges, altitudes and courses the detection of air objects is carried out, their stable support in certain modes and compliance of data obtained with the previously stated tactical and technical characteristics. The Turkey’s military carried out the so-called flyby of the regular and attached radar assets of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system-the 91N6E radar complex as part of the system’s command post, the 92N6E multi-functional radar of the anti-aircraft missile division and the 96L6E all-altitude detector, which was deployed on a 24-meter-high tower.

According to the source of the, the Turks carried out a flyby program, which in its intensity surpasses even similar Russian drills. Two F-16s, one F-4 and a helicopter for eight hours with refueling in the air constantly were in the air, coming from different directions and heights (including extremely small), they flew into the so-called “dead funnels” of radar (objectively, every radar has some of those), carried out passes over the complexes and stations with a variety of speeds.

The entrance to the zone of destruction of air defense systems of aircraft and helicopters ended with an electronic shot of the S-400 air defense system, i.e. not a real missile was launched, but its electronic model.

In addition, the Turkish aircraft were grouped, diverged and, most importantly, flew around the radar S-400 in a circle. This means in practice that their radial velocity for the S-400 locators was close to zero. The Turkish side initially had doubts whether the Triumph would be able to detect and sustainably accompany air objects with zero radial velocity. According to the results of the flyby, they had an unambiguous confidence that such targets S-400 accompanies easily.

It was noted that by the results of the flyby, Triumph demonstrated exceptionally high ability to detect and accompany air objects.

The Turky military counted on the high combat qualities of the Russian anti-aircraft missile system, but the reality exceeded all their expectations, the source said.

As for the statements of some military experts that “testing of the S-400 was conducted in passive mode“, they should be recognized as false, because without raising to high voltage of the SAM (ЗРС and ЗРК) transmitting devices and going on the air, no overflights are possible in principle.

Many questions arose in connection with the possibility of interfacing controls of the S-400 “Triumph” with automated air defense/missile DEFENSE combat control systems of NATO.

Obtaining information about an air enemy from superior and interacting units and connections within the automated control system (ACS) air defense / missile DEFENSE of the North Atlantic Alliance for the S-400 will never be superfluous, as, indeed, for any other anti-aircraft missile system.

As previously reported by the, the problem of coupling the SAM S-400 is technically solvable. The whole question is about its time and price.

To solve this problem, all it takes is creation of appropriate protocols for information exchange and rack [cabin] pairing. In this regard, it will require at least the joint work of two designers — from the Russian side and from the relevant developer of NATO systems. However, it is difficult to imagine such a level of interaction at the present time.

The opinion of some high-ranking American generals (for example, Curtis Scaparotti) that the S-400 is allegedly impossible to integrate into the overall air defense system of the North Atlantic Alliance is erroneous. There are no fundamental obstacles to the integration of the Triumph air defense system into the NATO air defense/MISSILE defense system.

In addition, a certain concern of the United States in regard to Turkey’s purchase of S-400 Triumphs was associated with the problems of integration of the identification system “friend-foe.” S-400, they said, could (mostly hypothetically) negatively affect the overall air defense/missile DEFENSE system of NATO.

The fact is that the US and NATO member States use the Mark-XII state identification system (Mk-XII). It implements the following modes of operation: 1 and 2 (military modes), 3/A (civilian mode, provided in the S-400 radar delivered to Turkey), 4 (military provides protection against provocation).

With the fourth mode Mk-XII in the S-400 SAM in Turkey, it was made necessary to use a purely Turkish cryptocomputer in the ground radar interrogator (NRZ), which will ensure the operation of mode 4 and thereby exclude unwanted imitation of the operation of the “friend-foe” system.

The first S-400 regimental set was delivered to Turkey with a Russian-made Mk-XII (NATO) ground radar interrogator. It is built to the well-known STANAG 4193 standard and is compatible with the ICAO (international air traffic control civil secondary radar) standard.

In addition, the radar interrogator (NRZ) system Mk-XII Russian production and the antenna of each electronic means of S-400 Triumph will work on the transmission with a well-known frequency of 1030 MHz, and reception with a frequency of 1090 MHz.

In Turkey, at first there was an unambiguous opinion that it would be impossible to integrate the Turkish crypto-block into the Russian NRZ with mode 4 due to many technical and organizational obstacles. An acceptable solution in this regard is the use of a Turkish interrogator in the S-400 air defense system together with the national crypto unit.

Therefore, the first regimental set of S-400 SAMS is delivered to Turkey with the Russian MK-XII NRZ system (NATO). Subsequently, it will be replaced by a Turkish ground-based radar interrogator developed by Aselsan. In the delivery of the second regimental set of S-400 is planned to immediately use NRZ Turkish production.

However, during the flyby, the Turkish side was convinced that the request-response system put together with the S-400 SAM is perfectly integrated into their national system of state identification. Therefore, it is possible that the second set will be delivered with our means of identification, suggests the source for the

Moreover, the Turks finally convinced that in the S-400 Triumph there is no means to transfer anywhere the so-called key information. That is, in the system of identification “friend-foe “”codes” are not transmitted anywhere.

The S-400 simply doesn’t have equipment and radar facilities for such transmission. When forming a request or response code, a set of certain pulses is transmitted and, except for the receiving and transmitting antennas of the NRZ, it does not go anywhere.

Moreover, according to the, the Turks wished that in the second regimental set of S-400 SAMS, which will soon be sent to Turkey, in the request-response equipment was pre-installed option to identify the “friendly target”.

The Turkish side believes that such an additional mode of operation of the interrogator in the S-400 is necessary for them in the national territory.

At the same time, Bundestag Deputy from the Social Democratic party of Germany (SPD) Nils Schmid said that NATO should respond to Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 complexes and be able to deploy US anti-missile systems in Turkey.

“First, this has become a problem for NATO, and therefore we need a strong response from NATO, because we believe that the deployment of Russian weapons on Turkish soil threatens the unity of NATO. That is why we must find another way to protect the territory of Turkey from missiles,” RIA Novosti quoted him.

Mikhail Khodarenok, a military observer for the

Author’s bio:

Mikhail Mikhailovich Khodarenok is a retired Colonel.

Graduated from Minsk Higher Anti-Aircraft Missile Engineering School (1976),

Military Command Academy of Air Defense forces (1986).

Commander of the s-75 anti-aircraft missile division (1980-1983).

Deputy commander of the anti-aircraft missile regiment (1986-1988).

Senior officer Of the General staff of the Air Defense Forces (1988-1992).

Officer of the main operational Directorate of the General staff (1992-2000).

Graduated from the Military Academy of the General staff of the Armed forces of Russia (1998).

Columnist “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” (2000-2003), editor-in-chief of the newspaper Military-industrial courier “(2010-2015)

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