Why are Turkish S-400s still not working?

On the Web, every defence enthusiast wondering why the Russian-made missile systems supplied to Turkey did not take up duty.

More than one year has passed since several S-400 Triumph air defense systems moved to Turkish lands. Despite such a long period of time, they still have not taken up combat duty. Because of this, many Internet users on weapons forums are wondering why such an expensive weapon has not yet been accepted for service.

Earlier, Turkish Defense Ministry officials said, “The complexes will be commissioned in the spring of 2020. But already in September, the head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Mevlut Cavusoglu, on the air of the CNN Turk television and radio channel said that the Triumph systems are still inactive. And he noted that “the purchase of the complexes from Russia was a necessary measure. But Turkey is not going to refuse to use them because of someone’s dissatisfaction. “

The moment of loading the S-400 for Turkey
The moment of loading the S-400 for Turkey

However, already in October this year in the Turkish province of Sinop, test launches of missiles by the Turkish armed forces took place. The exercises were recognized as successful in the press. It also explained such a long non-use of the 400th by the Turks. According to journalists, the coronavirus pandemic is to blame.

True, representatives of the RF Ministry of Defense remained completely silent on this matter. And the further fate of the air defense system has not been determined. “Experts” who follow the Turkish complexes on the Internet have begun to express their own assumptions.

The most popular assumption was “an attempt by the Turkish Kulibins to open the“ brain ”of the air defense system. Accordingly, these attempts did not lead to anything good and the S-400 are now unsuitable for their purpose. “According to the terms of the contract, all the tuning of the electronics must be done by the technical personnel of the enterprise where the complexes were produced. Access to the “brains” of Triumphs requires specific codes. And Russia was not going to give them away. Russians don’t sell their secrets. The American “gunsmiths” act in the same way, they sell planes and tanks to the right and left, but make adjustments only themselves. This is necessary so that the potential adversary cannot fit into the “friend or foe” recognition system to re-target the weapon at its manufacturer. Rostec representatives have repeatedly warned the Turks that all unauthorized “break-ins” will cause systems to fail. But, unfortunately (and maybe fortunately), the latter did not obey and several million dollars are now thrown into the wind. But Ankara cannot admit this either, because this interference is regarded as a violation of contractual obligations, and these are additional sanctions, but from Moscow, “said the” experts “.

S-400 and press
S-400 and press

Another reason was called “the clear intention of the Turks to withdraw from the deal with the United States, which imposed their F-35 fighters on Turkey. The Turks believed that American aircraft were outdated morally long ago and the United States had no right to force them to buy thirty-fifths. The deal with Moscow forced Washington to “lag behind” Ankara and helped untie the hands of Erdogan, who is now free from the opinion of an overseas ally in his political choice. “

There were no less commentators among those who considered the main reason for the inaction of the S-400 to be an “accident” arranged by the manufacturer. In this opinion, it turned out that software equipment was introduced into the complexes that could allow the Russians to turn off all Turkish Triumphs at any time. At what point this happened, no one knows, but they blamed everything on an emergency.

For other reasons, it turns out that the Turks were afraid of the sanctions imposed on them by the Americans. “They just don’t know now what to do with the purchased S-400s and how to return Washington’s favor. It seems that it is impossible to return the systems to Russia under a contract. Selling them to someone will not work. So there is Triumph, waiting for them to shoot at training targets, ”comment the“ experts ”.


Another interesting suggestion was the opinion that suggests that “the Turks did not get what they wanted. The export version of the S-400 is a stripped-down version of the original. Russia has secured itself from disclosing secrets to NATO countries, which Turkey is also. Therefore, the Turks, having tested the complex, were very disappointed and began to demand more S-400, but only in the original version. “

An interesting suggestion was the option of using the S-400 to “copy technologies, which will later form the basis for the development of its own weapons for Turkey. This is exactly what China has done in the past. Buying from the USSR, and later from Russia, military innovations, copying them, and only later creating their own military equipment with similar technologies. Erdogan decided to follow the same path. Therefore, now Turkish engineers “take measurements from the S-400. And when everything is recorded, the complexes will go into service. “

There can be a huge number of similar assumptions from “experts”. However, the explanation is rather banal – putting on combat duty was postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic. Still, this is not an easy task and requires the presence of both Turkish and Russian specialists. “Soon Turkish S-400s will take over the service,” Cavusoglu promised.

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