The Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems acquired by Turkey will not be able to cope with the attack of fifth-generation F-35 aircraft. This opinion was presented by the Director of defense research at the Turkish analytical center EDAM, Kaan Kasapoglu.
Some time ago, Turkey acquired a batch of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems and an international scandal broke out as a result of this transaction. The United States has excluded the Turkish side from participating in the F-35 fighter development program. According to Kaan Kasapoglu, the Turkish Air Force urgently needs new aircraft and even the purchase of the S-400 is not able to ease their situation. This is reported by the publication The National Interest (NI).
"After the purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system, Turkey was excluded from the F-35 strike fighter program and today is forced to watch its geopolitical competitors improve their air warfare capabilities," the author told NI.
Some time ago, Turkey turned to the United States in the hope of obtaining permission to purchase American F-16V fighters. Kaan Kasapoglu believes that Ankara's initiative goes far beyond a simple arms deal, and the country's future relations with the United States will depend on its success. If Congress refuses, Ankara's alliance with Washington will be completely destroyed.
The NI observer stated that Turkey found itself in a really difficult situation. The basis of the Turkish Air Force is made up of old F-16s, which are much inferior to competitors' aircraft. In the future, the backlog of Turkish aviation will continue to increase and even the extremely reliable Russian S-400 air defense systems will not be able to compensate for the shortcomings of the Turkish Air Force.
"Even the reliable S-400 surface-to-air system has limited capabilities to compensate for the shortcomings of the Turkish Air Force," the analyst added.
The expert believes that the S-400 will not be able to fit into the architecture of Turkey's air defense. The latter, although it has at its disposal the Big Bird detection radar, the Cheese Board, and Grave Stone early warning radar, but is not enough. In order to achieve maximum efficiency from the S-400, Ankara needs Russian high-frequency radar complexes of the "Sky" family, without them, it will be quite difficult to create a reliable defense. The author of NI stated that when the F-35 attacks Turkey, the S-400 systems are likely to be destroyed.
"From a practical point of view, the Turkish S-400 has little chance of surviving in the conflict if Turkey's competitors introduce fifth-generation F-35 stealth fighters into battle," the analyst said.
Turkey will be able to partially solve its problems with the Air Force by buying American F-16V aircraft, but it may be denied this by the US Congress. And if events develop exactly according to this scenario, Ankara's next step will be the purchase of the second batch of S-400. In addition, the Russian Federation can offer the Turkish side assistance in developing a new fighter, in particular, to provide productive aircraft engines.