In the battle of Turkey will converge Russian su-57 and American F-35
In the battle of Turkey will converge Russian su-57 and American F-35
Turkey can buy Russian su-57 fighters, if the United States decides to «punish» her for the purchase of anti-aircraft missile systems S-400. According to Defence News, it will happen in the case that the United States will exclude Turkey from the international program on creation of the F-35.
«We can’t afford to keep the F-35 irreplaceable. Russian fighters could be the best choice if us allies behave not in an allied way and put into question Turkey’s participation in the Joint Strike Fighter program,» the newspaper writes, citing a source in the Turkish Defense Ministry. At the same time, he noted that Ankara does not yet have specific options, as this will require «technological, economic and political discussions».
Prior to this, the Turkish authorities said that, despite the discontent of Washington, they intend to purchase from Russia S-400, the first batch of which should be delivered in July this year.
«The US makes erroneous statements on this topic, the deal with Russia is completed, payment for it continues,» Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters in early April. He also said that the US could not offer Turkey the same favorable conditions for the purchase of the American patriot SAM.
Meanwhile, the other day the head of the Turkish defense Ministry Hulusi Akara said that the US has made new proposals to Turkey for the supply of air defense systems.
«These proposals are being worked out comprehensively. We promised to inform the American side about our position on this issue,» he said. He also added that he was satisfied with the change in the position of the American side on many issues and expressed the hope that all participants of the F-35 project will fulfill their obligations.
Director of the Center for strategic conjuncture Ivan Konovalov noted that the F-35 and su-57 are fighters of the fifth generation, but the importance of the issue is rather political.
— It is critical for Erdogan not to yield. If he gives in, he’ll lose face. And the Americans do not offer a deal so that he refused the C-400 and saved face. They just press him to refuse and that’s all.
In the current circumstances, this is superimposed on many factors, including the situation in Syria: if Erdogan concedes on this issue to the Americans, then he will concede on the Kurdish issue in the Syrian situation. And this is a very sensitive issue, first of all, for the Turkish side. Kurdish self-defense units, which form the basis of the so-called Syrian democratic forces, supported and sponsored by the Americans, are terrorists for them. The fight continues for several years, and in this situation, the s-400 means that Erdogan is completely losing ground.
Both sides are desperately looking for an option that will suit everyone, because when the Turks get the S-400 — it will mean a complete defeat of the United States. They have already lost on all positions in the middle East, failure after failure. And it will be a catastrophic defeat in the international arms market, they are desperately trying to prevent it, but they are doing it with the help of pressure. This is a common mistake of Americans, they, as always, believe that all smarter and stronger and put pressure on anyone. What must happen to change their minds? It will happen, but most likely it will be a tragic scenario because otherwise, they do not understand. Any concession they perceive as a weakness.
Can they really take any sanctions against Turkey?
— Certainly. They can have a significant impact, and impact on the Turkish economy. In addition, acting on their allies in Europe, they can seriously affect the Turkish military-industrial complex, which is tied primarily to Europe: a significant number of military products are executed with the help of Western components, in Turkey only Assembly. If NATO countries under pressure from the United States stop cooperation, the military-industrial complex of Turkey will suffer catastrophically.
But there is another component. The Turks play on the fact that if this is so, they calmly turn to the Russian in all positions. And we have a very good position. The Russian military-industrial complex bypasses Western countries in many positions, for example, electronic warfare, tank building, light armored vehicles, air defense systems, helicopters. Yes, there are good helicopters, but we have the same good, but also reliable and cheaper.
We must remember that the su-57 must first enter our troops, and only then it will be possible to sell on the international arms market.
«SP»: — But Turkey is a NATO member, they have their own standards.
— So, but the Turks rests on the fact that the receiving-400 system will not affect the overall air defense system of the Alliance since all of these divisions can act independently.
SP: what do the European members of NATO think about this situation?
They don’t. As the US will say and will think. To them, by and large, all the same as Turkey behaves. It was, in fact, a precedent: country Alliance Greece, in 1997, he received the s-300. NATO said nothing. The scandal was different — the Turks then raised this issue, because of Turkey and Greece historically disagreements. Greece is a country of Alliance bought our system. Then the United States was silent, and now the country of the Alliance buys from Russia the system of the same, but more perfect, line, and for some reason, it can not be allowed. This is proof that there is a war against Russia. Turkey has nothing to do with this. The main goal is Russia: not to give anything to sell, all to cheat.
Erdogan, while he is President, the most impermissible to forgive the Americans for what they are in 2016 tried to overthrow him, staging a coup. And he knows it was them. What’s he supposed to do? If he gives in, what kind of leader is he? Therefore, he will fight to the last, maneuver, try to keep the situation. Moreover, the Turkish pilots have already been trained on the F-35, there was an official transfer of these aircraft to Turkey, but then they, however, were not transferred, confusing the situation completely.
According to the post-graduate center for post-Soviet studies IMEMO. E. M. Primakova RAS, political scientist Farhad Ibrahimov, Turkey’s principled position on the S-400 is connected with the fact that Ankara primarily proceeds from considerations of its own national interests and security, which results in a single whole.
— In Ankara, they are focused on protecting their airspace from a variety of threats and in narrow circles in the Supreme power of Turkey, they do not have much confidence in NATO for a long time, despite the «strategic Alliance» and other factors. Moreover, the Turks aimed at maintaining a balanced policy, on equal relations with both the West and Russia. In addition, Turkey considers the S-400 systems to be the most effective in the field of air defense.
To begin with, to understand why Ankara decided to cling to the C-400, and not for its American counterpart Patriot, it is necessary to turn to the origins. The fact is that in 2013 Turkey discussed the purchase of the Patriot missile defense system from the United States, but due to the refusal of the United States to share technology with Turkey and the high cost of the system, Ankara decided to look for other sellers.
After Turkey managed to agree with Russia on issues related primarily to price, supply, joint production, and technology transfer, Ankara considered it necessary to work with Moscow in the medium term. In addition, Russian-Turkish relations are strengthening, both countries, if not inferior to each other, then at least sit down at the negotiating table, discuss pressing issues relating to the region and, moreover, are ready for compromises that do not violate their own interests. Taken together, these factors favorably affect the close cooperation between Moscow and Ankara on the purchase of the latest S-400 systems.
Another important factor from a technological point of view. S-400 systems are capable of detecting a threat at a range of 600 kilometers, can hit ballistic targets at a distance of 60 kilometers, aerodynamic targets at a distance of 400 kilometers, as well as targets flying at a low altitude of about 10 meters. The minimum height at which American Patriot missiles can hit targets is only 60 meters.
In other words, the technological component, as well as the rapprochement between Turkey and Russia affect Ankara’s desire to acquire the S-400 system, and not anything else.
Is it possible to talk about a split in the Alliance, and will it worsen in this case?
— We should not expect a split in the medium term. NATO is an Alliance between Nations, and there can be anything in an Alliance. Conventionally, «today» relations between Turkey and the «collective West» in the face of the United States can be aggravated, and «tomorrow» and does strengthen. Today, the reality is that Washington does not intend to hear its Turkish partners. On the contrary, they decided to continue to speak the language of ultimatums, and in Ankara, it is perceived as an attempt to put pressure on her. In Turkey, they can listen to the position of the Americans, they do not see anything supernatural in this, but they do not intend to follow the position of their allies, this can be easily traced from the statements that Erdogan has made over the past few years.
In addition, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg in a statement on Turkey’s purchase of S-400 systems noted that the development of military capabilities is a national decision of the countries, and stressed that it is important for NATO that different systems can work together. That is, the Alliance decided to show Ankara that they are not going to interfere in the personal Affairs of Turkey and any military purchases with countries that do not have any relation to NATO (even on the contrary, with rivals of the Union), do not contradict the spirit of Alliance.
Thus, the structure itself is trying not to escalate the situation to the limit, realizing that Turkey is determined enough and any sharp statements can have a negative impact on NATO itself, and this clearly does not suit anyone, which is quite logical.
Among other things, Erdogan during his speeches asks questions: «Those who impose their will on us to buy the S-400, why do not they do this against Greece because of the S-300? Or Bulgaria, Slovakia again in connection with the S-300? They are also members of NATO, why don’t you tell them?»Therefore, there is nothing left to do in the Alliance, except to look for ways that would contribute to rapprochement with Turkey, not rejection. And by and large, Turkey itself is not going to leave the structure in the medium term, its task is to demonstrate to all, including allies in the bloc, the principle of defending its own interests. And Ankara itself is aware that sitting on two chairs, taking into account the realities that exist today in the region in which the country is located, is fraught with the most unpredictable consequences. Therefore, they are aimed at maintaining a consistent strategy, which still will not worsen relations with NATO, but at the same time will continue to maintain a fairly normal relationship with other actors
Can other NATO members follow Turkey’s example, given that the US requires them to do the opposite — to get rid of Russian weapons in favor of us?
— NATO is far from uniform, this block can be divided into 2 and even 3 subgroups. The first one can be attributed to those countries that have a rather negative attitude to Russia, so there can be no question of any cooperation. It is, first of all, the Baltic States, Poland, etc. The second subgroup includes countries that are not too Russophobic, but still keep a certain distance from Moscow (France, Spain, for example). And the third subgroup of countries are those countries that are ready to make contact with Russia and follow the example of Turkey, if not now, at least in the medium term or in the future. This may be the above-mentioned Bulgaria, Greece, Slovakia and even Italy.
However, in the case of the first three countries, there is a nuance — in contrast to same Turkey, they are much more serious can feel the pressure that they can have the same States, as it does not fit into the political logic that was built more than one year and even a decade. The problem is that they are more dependent in the political and economic sense of the word, and therefore to be sure that they can become the same regular buyers of a Russian weapon is somewhat difficult. Another question is how other countries of the Alliance will react to this because an attempt to exert pressure to stop military cooperation with Moscow is a direct intervention in the internal Affairs of these countries. However, there is nothing surprising: the Americans are always working on this tactic and they do not care who thinks what. Another question is that Washington may act differently: carefully deploy European partners and allies from Moscow, including through the purchase of Russian weapons.