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S-400 in Turkey: what the US and NATO fear

Amid the supply of S-400 to Turkey, a huge number of publications appear on the risks and threats that the Russian systems. S-400 in Turkey: what the US and NATO fear

S-400 in Turkey: what the US and NATO fear

Amid the supply of S-400 to Turkey, a huge number of publications appear on the risks and threats that the Russian systems for Ankara’s security allegedly carry. Most of these fears are generated in the US and NATO - either intentionally or due to technical illiteracy. Military columnist for Gazeta.Ru Mikhail Khodarenok sorted out some of the details of Triumph's supplies to Turkey.

Recently, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the North Atlantic Alliance will not integrate S-400 Triumph air defense systems bought by Turkey from Russia into its missile defense system. That is, the position of NATO regarding the integration of the S-400 into the corresponding automated control systems (ACS) of the air defense and missile defense of the alliance is uniquely formulated today.
“The answer is no. There are no plans to integrate Russian S-400 systems into a single NATO air defense and missile defense system, ”

- categorically rejected a similar opportunity, Stoltenberg.
To begin with, we will analyze whether it is possible in principle to a couple (and this process is correctly called from a technical point of view) S-400 Triumph air defense system control systems with NATO's automated air defense / missile control systems.
Obtaining information about the air enemy from superior and interacting units and formations within the framework of the anti-aircraft missile defense / missile system of the North Atlantic Alliance will never be superfluous for the S-400, as, indeed, for any other anti-aircraft missile system.
The task of pairing the S-400 air defense system is technically solvable. The whole question is perhaps in time and price.
To solve this problem, it is necessary to create appropriate protocols for the exchange of information and racks (cabs) interfaces. In this regard, at least the joint work of two designers will be required - on the Russian side and on the part of the corresponding developer of NATO systems. However, it is currently difficult to imagine a similar level of interaction.
By the way, if this problem - mutual exchange of information - will not be solved, there is basically nothing wrong with that. In the late 2000s, Russia and NATO repeatedly held joint training and exercises on non-strategic missile defense. Then the issues of interaction between fire weapons were not solved by technical conjugation of systems, but purely organizationally. That is, one of the parties was assigned the shooting sector, in which she was fully responsible for the performance of the combat mission. It is possible that the Turkish side will take advantage of the achievements of the exercises already held and the interaction between its fire and information tools will be built at this stage precisely on the basis of these principles.
The opinion of the American general Curtis Scaparotti, who heads the NATO Joint Armed Forces in Europe, that the S-400 is supposedly impossible to integrate into the alliance’s common air defense system, is wrong. There are no fundamental obstacles to the integration of Triumph air defense systems into NATO's air defense / missile defense systems.
Even such a private task as the use of the “friend or foe” recognition system as the main step before deciding to destroy the discovered target was practically solved when the S-400 air defense systems were delivered to Turkey by Russian and Turkish specialists.
As previously reported by Website", the process of obtaining anti-aircraft missile weapons by a foreign customer currently looks approximately as follows.
After various initial protocols of intent and ultimately the signing of the contract, the personnel of the foreign customer’s armed forces are sent for retraining to the appropriate system. That is, at first the theoretical part of the training is carried out, and it usually takes place in a training centre in Gatchina, Leningrad Region.
Then, personnel carry out reception under acts of weapons, military equipment and spare parts (spare parts, tools and accessories) at the docking base of the Kapustin Yar training ground. After that, initial firing is carried out from one of the sites of the firing range (without this, the anti-aircraft missile unit cannot be elementarily put on combat duty to guard the state border in airspace).
Further, the anti-aircraft missile system is rolled up, brought to the stowed (transport) position and sent to the loading station. Then, by rail (water, air) transport under the protection of a military guard follows to the place of permanent deployment.
By this time, reconnaissance teams, which are engaged in the selection of primary and secondary starting positions, should have completed their work at a new place of permanent deployment. For example, in the conditions of mountainous and densely populated areas (and all this fully applies to Turkey), this is not the easiest job.
While there is no clarity with the implementation of the initial combat firing. In any case, the information on which of the polygons it will be carried out is not publicly disclosed. It cannot be ruled out that live firing by Turkish forces will be carried out in one of the training centres of the Turkish Armed Forces, that is, on national territory.
Some statements in media publications, in general, look somewhat illiterate. For example, foreign sources state that “Russian air defense systems in Turkey will not only give Moscow“ friend or foe ”identification codes but will also monitor the movements of NATO aircraft, and with the help of S-400 systems sold to Turkey, Moscow will be able to crack the system“ friend or foe "of the advanced American fighter F-35, as well as monitor its movements."
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In fact, there is some concern in the United States when Turkey purchases the S-400 Triumph air defense system, and it is mainly associated with the integration of the S-400 air defense system's friend or foe identification system, and this is possible (mostly hypothetical) negative impacts on the overall NATO air defense / missile defense system
The fact is that in the USA and in the NATO member states the state recognition system MARK-XII (Mk-XII) is used. It implements the following operating modes: 1 and 2 (military modes), 3 / A (civilian mode, provided in S-400 air defense radar systems delivered to Turkey), 4 (military, imitation resistant mode, provides protection against provocation).
To use the fourth Mk-XII mode in the S-400 air defense system in Turkey, you must use a strictly Turkish crypto block in the ground radar interrogator (NRZ), which will ensure the operation of mode 4 and thereby exclude unwanted imitation of the work of a friend or foe system.
The first S-400 regiment kit is delivered to Turkey with a ground-based radar interrogator of the Russian-made Mk-XII (NATO) system. It is built according to the well-known STANAG 4193 standard and is compatible with the ICAO standard (Civil Secondary Radar for International Air Traffic Control, Appendix 10, Volume IV).
In addition to this, the NRH systems of Russian-made Mk-XII systems and the antenna of each of the S-400 Triumph airborne electronic systems will work for transmission with a well-known frequency of 1030 MHz, and for reception with a frequency of 1090 MHz.
In Turkey, there is a clear understanding that it is impossible to integrate the Turkish crypto block into the Russian NRZ with regime 4 due to many technical and organizational obstacles. An acceptable solution in this regard is the use of the Turkish interrogator in the S-400 air defense system along with the national crypto block.
Therefore, the first regimental set of S-400 air defense systems is delivered to Turkey with the Russian NRZ system Mk-XII (NATO). Subsequently, it will be replaced by the Turkish ground-based radar interrogator developed by Aselsan. Upon delivery of the second regimental set of S-400, it is planned to immediately use Turkish-made NRZ
The S-400 Triumph air defense system does not have any means to transmit so-called key information anywhere.
In the recognition system "friend or foe" - "codes" are not transmitted. There is simply no such equipment and radar equipment. When generating a request or response code, a set of certain pulses is transmitted and, except for the receiving and transmitting antennas of the NRH, it does not go anywhere.
That is, the S-400 is not a means at all to “crack” the “friend or foe” system. This anti-aircraft missile system is intended solely for hitting targets without a sign of recognition of "own plane."
And according to the answer in the 3 / A mode (civilian mode), any aircraft, and not only the F-35, will be visible within the capabilities of the ground-based radar interrogator (up to 600 km). In modes 1 and 2, the Mk-12 F-35 will respond decisively to all ground-based radar interrogators, including civil ones. Thus, there will be no secret about its coordinates, flight route, altitude and speed. And this can be said to be publicly available information.
And the Turkish Aselzan NRZ installed on the S-400 air defense system will be fully adapted to work in both the national and the general NATO identification system, including in the imitation mode on national keys using its own (Turkish) crypto block, providing the operation of mode 4 (military, imitation) NATO identification system Mk-XII.
In order to exclude the technical and hypothetical possibility of an undesirable effect of Russian-made air defense equipment on the operation of Turkish air defense systems in a mixed group on their air defense assets or on air defense systems and aircraft of other NATO member countries (NATO's South Air Force), the technical interaction between Turkish and Russian parties fully agreed.
It will be a kind of basis for the integration of the Turkish NRZ into S-400 air defense radar systems in order to ensure independence from the S-400 supplier when working with NATO air defense systems.
As for the “invisible” F-35 fighter, it should once again be reminded that completely invisible aircraft in radar simply do not exist. If the effective reflective surface of the aircraft is at least 0.01 square meters. m, then this is enough for the successful combat operation of modern anti-aircraft missile systems. And at present it is extremely difficult to achieve lower values ​​of the image intensifier tube, even taking into account the super-advanced stealth technologies, unless you hide the aircraft in a cloud of plasma.
Mikhail Khodarenok is a military observer for Gazeta.Ru.
Author biography:
Mikhail Mikhailovich Khodarenok - retired colonel. 
He graduated from the Minsk Higher Engineering Anti-aircraft Missile School (1976), the 
Military Command Academy of Air Defense (1986). 
Commander of the anti-aircraft missile battalion S-75 (1980-1983). 
Deputy commander of an anti-aircraft missile regiment (1986–1988). 
A senior officer of the General Staff of the Air Defense Forces (1988–1992). 
Officer of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff (1992–2000). 
Graduate of the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia (1998). Nezavisimaya Gazeta

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