A year after purchasing the S-400 missile defence systems from Russia, Turkey will carry out firing tests for the lethal defence missiles and has issued notices to clear off the air space and waters off its Black Sea coast.
While the missiles were imported from Moscow in July of 2019, the testing of the missiles had been delayed repeatedly due to continuous pressure from US President Donald Trump who has been against the deal.
The Pentagon believes that the integration of the Russian missile systems combined with the access of valuable information on NATO’s defence systems is considered hazardous for the future of US’ most prized F-35 stealth fighter jets.
The S-400s are allegedly the only defence missiles capable of neutralizing the stealth technology of the fifth-generation fighters and taking them down.
This was considered the major reason behind Washington ousting Ankara from its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Jet Program last July post which it also threatened to impose sanctions on them.
While it had been reported that Turkey did end up conducting tests of the defence missiles last year, it remains to be seen what will be the aftermath of the current tests, with fresh exercises bound to stoke tensions with their NATO ally.
The area near the coastal city of Sinop has already been restricted by Turkey’s air space notice or NOTAM for Friday’s (October 16) testing which will include a radar test and possibly live-fire for six hours.
Aircraft have been advised to avoid the area of testing to a height of 200,000 feet (61,000 metres).
Ankara had already issued a maritime notice called the NAVTEX for shooting training and two others for military training, which will be held from Friday to Saturday (October 17).
Considered to be the most advanced of their kind, the S-400s surface-to-air-missiles (SAMS) are the most modern long and medium-range surface-to-air missile system, designed to detect and destroy aircraft and cruise and ballistic missiles, while also being able to demolish ground-based installations.
Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported quoting multiple sources, Turkey had reportedly tested the S-400 air defence systems against US-developed F-16 fighter jets. According to reports, the S-400 air defence systems deployed at the Mürted air base near Ankara were tested on the US-made F-16 Viper and F-4 Phantom II fighters.