The US Congress is preparing to investigate an incident that took place during the Eunomia-2020 exercise held in late August
France, Italy, Greece and Cyprus participated in these war games, aimed “to defend the freedom of navigation in the Mediterranean.”
Ankara called them anti-Turkish, as Paris, commenting on its participation in Eunomia-2020, expressed “concern about the tension caused by Turkey’s unilateral decisions on oil exploration.” Recall, on August 10, Turkey sent a seismic research vessel Oruç Reis, accompanied by warships, to the southeastern part of the Aegean Sea. Thus, Erdogan announced his claims to the largest gas field discovered in the region. In the opinion of the European capitals, Ankara claims to “the wealth that belonged to Athens.”
The United States did not officially participate in Eunomia-2020, but judging by the statements of two overseas lawmakers Hollen and Lankford, who refer to their source in the US Army, American Air Force planes nevertheless circled over the Allied ships, most likely with an inspection.
And now, as it became known to the congressmen, at least once Erdogan’s anti-aircraft gunners chose the American F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters as their target and carried out a whole range of actions to destroy them. It remains only to give the command “Pli!” That is why this incident should be considered as the fact of the first real use of the S-400 against US Air Force aircraft.
In this regard, Hollen and Lankford demanded that the State Department contact Ankara and provide them with all the detailed information about the work of the Turkish S-400 operators during Eunomia-2020. Coincidentally or not, their request coincided with the ongoing Turkish exercises, which are taking place from October 5 to 16 on the Black Sea coast near the city of Sinop. And here “Triumphs” are involved, which did not go unnoticed by the world media. The Free Press also covered this topic and revealed the reasons that prompted the leader of the “neo-Ottoman empire” Erdogan to personally observe the work of his anti-aircraft gunners.
It looks like Triumphs are becoming Erdogan’s favorite military toy. Thanks to them, the President of Turkey, of course, earns solid political points, including because he not only shows a fig to America, but also “tests [at the training ground near Sinop] the S-400 directly opposite Russia.” It is clear that the air defense missile systems received from Moscow are also used as a factor of pressure on the Armenians defending Artsakh from the Azerbaijani-Turkish army.
It is possible that the American Armenian lobby, the second most influential after the Jewish one, is behind the concerns of Hollen and Lankford. However, it is more likely that the congressmen are not so disingenuous when they say that “the S-400 was actually used against American aircraft for the first time.” Erdogan thus demonstrates his determination and shows Washington his teeth.
“The reports of this activation [S-400 versus F-16] demonstrate that Turkey has no intention of changing course and abandoning this Triumph system,” Hollen and Lankford wrote in a letter to Mike Pompeo, former CIA director of state.
America believes that the alliance between Moscow and Ankara is directed against the United States. The Pentagon is concerned that Turkey will try to tie “Triumph” to NATO’s tactical data transmission channel, that is, combine “excellent Pentagon awareness” with “excellent Russian weapons.”
Hollen and Lankford believe that with the help of Triumph, Moscow will be able to download military secrets of the Pentagon’s NATO allies.
Mike Pompeo already flew to Greece at the end of September without a letter from the concerned congressmen – perhaps precisely because of the “real use of the S-400 against the F-16.” Speaking at a military base in Souda Bay on the Greek island of Crete, the secretary of state said that relations between the United States and Greece were “at an all-time high and are strengthening.”
Ankara, of course, reacted with condemnation. According to the Greek newspaper APnews: “A senior Turkish official from the ruling party said that Pompeo” lost his impartiality “by visiting Greece twice in one month and ignoring the Turkish Cypriots during his visit to Cyprus.” This means that in the event of a major war between Turkey and Greece, Washington will support Athens.
However, the Greeks are confident that America will not openly oppose Turkey, whose main arguments in a potential war for Mediterranean gas will be the S-400. Note that in open sources, both Turkish and American, there was still no information that Ankara put the Triumphs into operation in full. In particular, Bloomberg reported that individual systems of the advanced Russian anti-aircraft missile system are currently being tested, and Turkish calculations are being examined.
The Turkish Defense Ministry does not comment on the readiness of the S-400 for war, but announced that during the exercises in Sinop, there will be firing at ten air targets.
In addition, the Pentagon Defense News reported that the Turkish Triumph’s radars are being actively used to track their own F-16s, which caused a big stir in the Pentagon. In response, the US threatened to block arms and parts sales to Turkey for the next two years, which will likely be seen as a preventive measure in the event of a Turkish-Greek war.
Military.com writes that a number of military analysts called the S-400 an “F-35 killer,” and it was these expert assessments that prompted the United States to suspend the sale of American “stealth” vehicles to Ankara. Like, otherwise the Turks would have trained not only on the F-16, but also on the latest fifth-generation fighter. By the way, this was acknowledged by the US Deputy Secretary of Defense for Software Affairs Ellen Lord, who explained that the long-term proximity between the F-35 and the S-400 would allow the Triumph crew to understand the profile of the “invisible”. On the other hand, the lack of such experience among the “anti-aircraft janissaries” gives the Greek pilots in the F-35 a chance to hack the Turkish air defense system and force Ankara to peace.
However, Ankara does not need an F-35 in order to tune the S-400 to combat the “invisible”, writes Military.com. The very fact that Turkey participates in cooperation in their production already gives the Turks the necessary knowledge. To the horror of Washington, the United States has never been able to find a replacement for Turkish firms that produce critical components for the F-35. That is, joint programs are ongoing, which allows Ankara to have access to the know-how of a fifth-generation American fighter.
In this regard, the letter from Hollen and Lankford “on the first real use of the S-400 against the American F-16” to the State Department does not change anything at all. Anti-aircraft janissaries aim missiles at all military aerial targets near Turkey, including Russian ones. Actually, this is what the Triumphs were bought for. But there is no doubt that the Americans will make our advanced air defense systems the No. 1 target in a potential Greek-Turkish war. Even if the “400th” cannot be won in a fair fight, Turkish officers loyal to Washington, many of whom studied in the United States, can easily come to the rescue.