S-400 Triumph Air and Missile Defence System and Turkey’s Air and Missile Defence Capability

On July 12, 2019 the An-124/100 and IL-76TD EMERCOM transport aircraft carrying the first batch of equipment for the Turkish Air Force (TurAF)’s First S-400 System (Squadron) finally landed, one after another, on the Mürted Airfield Command in Ankara. How many batteries is the S-400 System composed of? What are the components of the System? Will they be able to be integrated to the national air defence network? Many other questions were examined for our readers, by our Editor İbrahim SÜNNETÇİ

Date: Issue 94 - September 2019

The main air and missile defence capabilities of the Turkish Air Force (TurAF) are currently composed of over 30 fixed and transportable 3D air surveillance radar sensors that provide a real-time air picture of Turkey’s Airspace. They are deployed under the Air Control Group Command, 7 Control Warning Centers/Posts (KIM/KIP), 4 E-7T Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft serving under Airborne Warning Control Group Command and accepted as force multiplier, ground based air defence missile systems (MIM-14 Nike Hercules Missile Systems operating under four active Nike Hercules Squadron Commands and four HAWK XXI System Batteries) under the 15th Missile Base Command and Tactical Data Link Systems that provide the command and control between such systems. Currently, the TurAF - which does not have a new generation long-range air and missile defence system capable of intercepting ballistic missiles, is one of the few countries in the world and the only member of NATO meeting its air defence requirements with the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters.

As part of the announcement dated November 17, 2015 made by the Turkish Ministry of National Defence (MoND) on the cancellation of the T-LoRAMiDS Project, it was underlined that activities for fulfilling the related demands with national resources would be continued. To this end, in 2016, the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) launched the Indigenous Long-Range Air Defence System (GUMS/HİSAR-U) Project later named as SİPER. The contract regarding the SİPER Project was signed by an Aselsan, Roketsan and TÜBİTAK SAGE Partnership on January 15, 2018 and within the scope of the Project, being executed with national facilities, Aselsan is responsible for the development of the Long-Range Search Radar, Multi-Functional Fire Control Radar and Radar (RF) Seeker. The system design specifications of the Project were completed in 2018 and the activities on System and Sub-System Design are being executed. With a range over 100km, the SİPER Missile is planned to function against only air breathing targets in the first stage, but Anti-Ballistic Missile capability is expected to be gained during the second stage. The first delivery as part of the Project is aimed to be conducted at the end of 2021. Within the scope of the Long-Range Air and Missile Defence System Project, being executed by Aselsan-Roketsan-EuroSam in parallel with the SİPER/GUMS Project, the Contract on the ‘Concept Identification’ Project with a schedule of 18 months was signed on January 5, 2018. In line with the contract, the related ongoing system concept identification study is planned to be completed by October/November 2019. In the press bulletin published on July 19, 2017 by the EuroSam Consortium, it was stressed that the Long Range Air and Missile Defence System would be built based on the technologies and expertise acquired by EuroSam’s ASTER Missile Family in land and naval systems in a period of 25 years and with an investment of EUR 11 Billion. Based on the aforementioned statement, it could be assessed that a naval version (for TF-2000 AWDs) of the Long-Range Air and Missile Defence System will be developed as well.