In July 2019 Turkey received the first S-400 missile defence system delivery from Russia. But it has been more than two years it still not operational.
In late 2017 Turkish and Russian officials signed a US$2.5 billion agreement for delivery of the S-400 air defence system. Turkey received the 4 battalions of S-400 air defense systems in 2019, but after a simple test, due to pressure from the United States and other NATO allies, only these $2.5 billion worth of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems were sealed. Let me mention in December 2021 India received first unit of S-400 from Russia and will be operational by February 2022, So basically India takes only 2 month put S-400 into opeartion.
I don’t know when it will be operational. Considering the reliability of Russian-made high-tech weapons and the gradual retirement of trainees, it is not optimistic to say that if these Russian-made S-400 air defense systems in Turkey can still serve, they will have to spend extra money for maintenance, upgrade, and retrain operators.
Recently, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar publicly stated that the reason why Turkey purchased the Russian-made S-400 air defense system is not a choice, but a necessity. Turkey needs the S-400 air defense system to protect 84 million Turks. Can be provided by the S-400 air defense system, not by Turkey’s NATO allies.
Hulusi Akar also said that the S-400 air defense system is a defensive weapon, if there is no threat, it will not affect anyone, Turkey’s position on the S-400 air defense system is correct and needs to be with other NATO countries.
The remarks of Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar are considered to be shouting to NATO, asking NATO to respect Turkey’s choice and allow the Turkish army to use these S-400 air defense systems as soon as possible. The billion-dollar air defense system is slowly breaking down in the warehouse. However, for now, the Turkish army cannot use these S-400 air defense systems in the foreseeable future. Because of the purchase of S-400 air defense systems, the Turkish military industry has been sanctioned by the US. If these S-400 air defense systems are activated The air defense system is most likely to be subject to dual sanctions from the United States and the European Union. Turkey’s fragile economy cannot withstand such a blow.
The main reason why the United States and other NATO countries oppose Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 air defense system is not because the S-400 air defense system can effectively deal with stealth fighters such as the F-35. There is evasion on the issue of whether to deal with stealth targets. The real reason is the ultra-long range of the S-400 air defense system, which has a range of up to 400 kilometers. Even if it is deployed in Turkey, it can threaten military and civilian aircraft in the airspace of other countries, not to mention its maximum detection distance. The radar system with a distance of more than 1,000 kilometers can effectively detect the air situation in the hinterland of other countries.
In addition, the United States and other NATO countries are vigorously cracking down on the Russian military industry, even forcing Russian domestic commercial banks to be unable to provide loans to Russian military enterprises. Turkey spent $2.5 billion to purchase the S-400 air defense system, which undoubtedly supported the Russian military industry, and Turkey was even more regarded as an outlier by other NATO members. The current situation is that Turkey has bought the S-400 air defense system but cannot use it. It can only watch them gradually fall behind in the warehouse and have various problems. The reliability and service life of Russian-made high-tech weapons are not very good.