As October 18 approaches, the world’s attention will be focused on the fall of Iran’s arms embargo. As we have repeatedly mentioned, this means that Tehran will now have the right to buy foreign weapons, and many military analysts say that one of the first purchases would be Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft systems.
BulgarianMilitary.com quotes a source in the Russian Ministry of Defense as saying that Iran is also interested in Russian Su-24 and Su-35 fighters, which, if implemented as a deal, will give Tehran fourth-generation aircraft and significantly increase the combat capability of Iranian air force.
The idea of Iran acquiring Russian S-400 air defense systems worries Washington, which will be forced to impose severe economic and financial sanctions on any country that not only sells weapons to Iran, but also sells or co-operates with Tehran in the development of weapons technology.
The Americans are most worried about the possibility of future Iranian air defense systems to provide a stable and secure protection, which will be a serious problem for the American stealth fighters F-35 and F-22, as well as the stealth bomber B-2. Therefore, it is quite logical for some journalists and analysts to ask themselves whether it is possible for the future Iranian S-400 to shoot down these fighters, or at least to obtain secret data from them.
Many military experts comment on this topic. Their common opinion is that Tehran’s ability to shoot down the quoted American planes depends mostly on what version and with what functionalities it will require its systems from Russia. The most complete version of the S-400 has a new generation of digital processors, computer networks and a radar frequency detector, which is the main reason why almost the whole world thinks that the S-400 is currently the best air defense in the world of all. Ie if Tehran pays the necessary money and if Moscow allows the sale of such a system [which is most likely – ed.], then the Iranian army will have a means that would be a real threat to shoot down stealth planes and bombers entering Iranian airspace.
The threat is even more serious, as Iran has repeatedly shown its determination to protect the inviolability of its lands. Especially after only two weeks ago it shot down two attack helicopters of the Azerbaijani forces that violated its airspace during the military clashes with Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh, or when they shot down a reconnaissance drone of the US Air Force almost a year and a half ago. Realistically, every mistake of a foreign army will be punished – at least that’s what the Iranians have shown.
At the same time, on the “other side of the barrier,” Russia has shown its determination to sell its military products, and this was one of Moscow’s main goals in urging the United Nations to lift the arms embargo on Iran. Washington’s threats to attack any arms deal with the Islamic State using economic sanctions against the country do not worry Moscow, and this was confirmed by the Russian ambassador to Iran, who said that “we are not afraid of US threats and will fulfill our commitments”.
Economic sanctions have become a major tool for the Trump administration to influence arms deals around the world, trying to achieve two main things: selling more American weapons and selling more American weapons. However, the history of the last 4 years shows a pattern – these sanctions are applicable in practice to small countries in the world or medium-sized economies that would not take risks. While economies such as Turkey and India have shown Washington that these “economic levers” are not working, and despite threats from the Trump administration, the two countries are pursuing their own path.
Turkey tested the S-400 on Greek F-16s, Washington wants sanctions
According to information spread, which also reached the US Senate, the Turkish missile forces had used the purchased Russian S-400 air defense systems against allied F-16 fighters.
This is about the military exercises held this year in Eunomia, where the air forces of France, Italy, Greece and Cyprus took part. According to the information disseminated at that time, the Turkish army had deployed Russian S-400 air defense systems in the Black Sea Turkish province of Samson, and it is assumed that this transfer and deployment was for the purpose of testing the systems.
US Senators James Lankford and Chris Van Holen have sent an immediate letter to the US State Department urging immediate sanctions on Turkey for the use of Russian S-400 systems, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reported. According to the two senators, Mike Pompeo should also inform the American public and say whether Turkey has actually used the S-400 to “intercept” Allied fighters, most likely targeting Greek F-16s, citing the confrontation between the two countries in recent weeks.
The two US senators also want to know from the US State Department whether, in this way and through the use of the Turkish S-400, Russia will gain access to “information about NATO allies“.
What S-400 missile system is?
S-400 Triumph is a Russian long-range and medium-range anti-aircraft missile system, anti-aircraft missile system (SAM). S-400 is designed to destroy all modern and promising means of aerospace attack [including hypersonic].
According to Western analysts, the S-400, along with systems such as the Iskander OTRK and coastal anti-ship systems of the Bastion class, plays a key role in the new concept of the Russian Armed Forces, known in the West as the “Access Denied Zone” [Anti-Access / Area Denial, A2 / AD], which consists in the fact that NATO troops cannot be and move within the range of A2 / AD restricted area systems without the risk of causing unacceptable damage to them.
Triumph is the name of the export version. The market price of one division of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system is about $ 500 million.
Technical characteristics of S-400 missile system
The performance characteristics of the S-400 Triumph are: detects a target at a distance of 600 km; strikes a target at a distance of 400 km; the maximum speed of the hit targets – 4.8 km / s; at the same time can fire 36 targets with pointing up to 72 missiles on them; deployment time of the system from the stowed state – 5-10 minutes; the time to bring the system’s assets into combat readiness from the deployed state is 3 minutes.
How does the Triumph air defense system work?
The S-400 Triumph is not just an installation for launching missiles, but a whole complex of coordinated and complex systems, the components of which are located on high-cross-country vehicles.
The entire process from detecting to destroying a target occurs automatically:
- The radar system (radar) detects hundreds of targets within a radius of 600 km and determines their nationality.
- Data is sent to the command post (55K6E). He, in turn, distributes targets between several launchers (5P85TE2).
- Each command post can simultaneously control eight air defense systems, each of which carries up to 12 launchers. They, in turn, accommodate four missiles with different masses, launch ranges and capabilities.
- Depending on the type of target, an air defense system selects a missile. The S-400 Triumph is armed with missiles with different weights, launch ranges and capabilities: 48N6E, 48N6E2, 48N6E3, 9M96E and 9M96E2.
- Ultra-long-range missiles (up to 400 km) are capable of destroying targets even beyond the reach of targeting locators, for which they have unique homing heads. After climbing at the command of such a rocket itself goes into search mode.