The S-400 Triumph which was earlier named as S-300 PMU-3,is an anti-aircraft weapon system developed in the 1990s by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau as an upgrade of the S-300 family. The Economist in 2017 described S-400 as “one of the best air-defense systems currently made.” The S-400 is among the most advanced air defense systems available, said Siemon Wezeman Senior Researcher of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The S-400 systems development started in the late 1980s, and the system was announced by the Russian Air Force in January 1993. On 12 February 1999,the first successful tests were performed at Kapustin Yar in Astrakhan. The Russian army in 2001 scheduled the deployment of S-400. The project was completed in February 2004, and in April, the upgraded 48N6DM missile had successfully intercepted a ballistic missile.
The S-400 is filled with many components like 91N6E and 96L6. The 91N6E is intelligently made so it can have an anti-stealth range of 150 km. There is one system comprising up to eight battalions which can control up to 72 launchers and a maximum of 384 missiles. A successful test firing of the missile was reported at an airborne target at a range of 400 km (250 mi) in April 2015.
Morpheus defense system ,a separate as well as independent air defense system which was known as 42S6 Morfey (Morpheus) and is being developed. This system is designated as a short-range air defense system, to protect the S-400 from various threats at their terminal phases, and will also act together with the S-350E as a supplement to the S-400. These systems are a part of the Aerospace Defence Forces (ADF).
The development of Morfey started in 2007 and was planned to be introduced in 2013, however it was delayed until 2015. The missile system is made of omnidirectional 29YA6 radar, infrared sensors, and 36 missiles. The missiles have up to ten kilometers and an altitude of up to 3500 m.
A regular S-400 battalion consists of a minimum of eight launchers with thirty-two missiles and a mobile HQ. On 21 May 2007, the Russian Air Force announced that the S-400 would be put on combat duty around Moscow and Central Russia by 1 July 2007. The S-400 was additionally deployed close to the city of Elektrostal. On 6 August 2007, the first regiment equipped with S-400 entered active service in Moscow Oblast near Elektrostal.
The United States has warned Turkey it will face economic sanctions if it goes and will not stop purchasing Russian missile defense system. It has also said Turkey won’t be allowed to participate in the program to produce the high-tech F-35 jets. The ministry of Turkey said that first delivery of the S-400 air defense systems arrived on Friday at an airbase near the capital, Ankara. Turkey has refused to bow to U.S. pressure,stating that buying defence equipments is a matter of national sovereignty.
The US also warned that Turkey cannot keep both the S-400 anti-aircraft defense system and US F-35 fighter jets. Turkey and the US are NATO allies but Turkey is establishing closer links with Russia. A NATO official was concerned about Turkey as it has broken all the rules and said if it wants to be a NATO country than it has to stop importing S-400 missile defense system from Russia.
The leaders of the US Senate said that Turkey has to face the consequences of not following the terms and is concerned about Turkey. US has told Turkey that if it does not stop the import of S-400 defense missile system from Russia then it will be removed from the F-35 program run by the US and the US will put economic sanctions on the country. Turkey has argued that the 2 systems would be placed in separate locations. US has stopped deliveries of the aircraft to Turkey and has suspended the training of Turkish pilots.
By Namya Shah