Turkey has been under a lot of pressure recently to reconsider its decision to purchase Russia’s state-of-the-art S-400 Triumf air-defense systems rather than the weapons offered by NATO allies, notably the US Patriot PAC-3.

Russia’s S-400 Air-Defense System Proves to Be Red Rag for the US Bull

 American officials are threatening Turkey with sanctions. The S-400 deal with Russia has been finalized, and Ankara shows no sign that it’s having second thoughts. Anyway, a potential purchase of the US system would not preclude the deal with Russia, for the simple reason that the PAC-3 is not an alternative to the Triumf. Some countries, like Poland, buy it for political reasons, but that system is no match for the S-400 from the standpoint of its operational capabilities. According to the Quartz news website, “the US and its allies the world over are paying billions for medium-range missile interception systems without a track record of success.”

Both systems are long-range, high-altitude, all-weather weapons theoretically capable of countering ballistic and cruise missiles, drones, and the most advanced aircraft. However, the Patriot has a very unimpressive record of failure every time it has been used under combat conditions. It recently missed its targets when attacking Saudi Arabia from Yemen.

The Russian system supports four different intercept missiles with ranges from 40 km. up to 400 km., as compared to just one interceptor with a range of 96 km. that is supported by the PAC-3 (the PAC-2 older version had a range of 160 km.). The S-400 will detect, track, and fire at a target long before the Patriot can even begin to get the haziest of readings on it. The Triumf can deploy in five to ten minutes. The American Patriot takes about an hour to position itself and get ready to fire. That’s a huge difference under combat conditions.

The Triumf’s 9M96E2 (120 km.) missile is beyond compare, as it can fly at Mach 15 (around 18,500 kph), and engage targets five meters off the ground. The Patriot can only hit low-flying targets at an altitude of 60 m. Here the S-400’s superiority is also evident. What’s more, the missile can maneuver at up to 20 Gs. The mind boggles.

The S-400 has optional acquisition radars, which operate in multiple frequency bands. They can see US stealth aircraft, such as the F-22 and the F-35. The system is capable of targeting up to 36 airplanes at a range of 150 kilometers. Unlike the Patriot, the S-400 does not need to track its target, thanks to its fire-and-forget capability. The interceptors are equipped with homing devices to lock on a target and kill it.

The PAC-3 can only fire at an incoming missile during the terminal phase of its flight, instead of earlier, before the warhead has separated, when it is possible to use electronic countermeasures. The system has a range of 35 km. against ballistic missiles but Yemen’s war experience shows that the intercepts are too last-minute, threatening high-value assets and the populated areas the Patriot is supposed to protect. For comparison, the S-400 can hit ballistic targets flying at speeds of up to 4.8 km/s at altitudes from a few meters to a few dozen kilometers, from a distance of 60 km. No other system in the world can measure up to it.

Here is another comparison: the S-400 is priced at about $2.5 billion. The Patriot costs twice as much. For instance, Poland has to fork out $4.75 billion. As in other examples, this is a significant difference.

Moscow does not have to strong-arm anyone to sell the S-400 abroad. Deliveries to China, a big-league consumer, have already started. Would-be buyers, including America’s closest allies, are lining up. This month Turkey requested that the procedure be expedited, thus waving a red flag in front of the American bull. Saudi Arabia has also signed a deal to purchase the S-400 from Russia, fueling US anger. And Qatar is among the potential buyers. India is seeking exemption from US sanctions so it can buy the Triumf. Iraq is looking to buy the S-400 despite America’s pressure and threats. Pakistan is pondering a deal too. No doubt there’ll be others.

Everyone wants the best. Russia abides by the principles of fair trade that the US demands from others while refusing to honor itself. Washington does not shy away from pressure and arm-twisting to force other customers buy a commodity that is obviously inferior in quality. The S-400 is certainly not the only example of US duplicity. This American policy is facing broad resistance. The US could have offered a better defense system but it failed to develop and produce one. This “do as I tell you or else” policy is the only option left for those who don’t know how to lose gracefully.

Tags: Russian Army

Another Russian Superweapon to Enter Service: President Putin Did Not Bluff

Another Russian Superweapon to Enter Service: President Putin Did Not Bluff

Technological breakthroughs are the key to success in economics and national security. Moscow recently unveiled its achievements in military innovations that are bringing forth a new paradigm in modern warfare. It was reported on March 15 that the Avangard (known as Vanguard in English) boost-glide hypersonic delivery vehicle with an intercontinental range will be operational by 2019 or even late 2018. It’ll be on high alert in 2019. The military has already signed the contract.

Avangard is to be installed on intercontinental missile, such as the 200-ton Sarmat ICBM. Delivered to the desired orbit at an altitude of 100 km from the Earth using a pre-booster, it can glide to its target at a speed of Mach 20 (5-7 km/s) while maneuvering with the help of stabilizers.

This is the first mass-produced weapon with a glider warhead that can travel at such an altitude in the dense layers of the atmosphere. The boost-glider vehicle can also abruptly change course. The system produces signatures, which are quite different from traditional intercontinental systems, to hinder attempts to spot and engage it.

The use of composite materials enables the re-entry vehicle to resist temperatures up to 2,000 degrees Celsius. It can fly within plasma and the glider is also protected from laser irradiation. The system passed its trials with flying colors.

The weapon is perfectly suited for knocking out an enemy’s critical infrastructure and leaving him unable to strike back. Its yield ranges from 150 kilotons to one megaton.

Russia, not the US, has been the first to achieve prompt global strike capability. That’s what makes this weapon especially important. The Russian president wasn’t exaggerating when he described the Kinzhal hypersonic missile. Now another new system is almost ready to go, further shaming those who doubted its existence.

President Putin’s address, in which he described these new ‘super weapons,” had nothing to do with serving the interests of the military-industrial complex. The development of the systems mentioned in this speech was prompted by the US withdrawal from the 1972 ABM Treaty. That agreement had been the cornerstone of strategic stability until Washington pulled out in 2002, a move that was followed by the rollout of NATO missile-defense sites in Romania and Poland (this year). The ABM Treaty was not the only major international agreement the US put an end to. Today it is openly violating the NPT treaty. The Nuclear Posture Review released this year seeks to bury arms control. The announced plan to breach the 1991 presidential nuclear initiatives and arm naval ships with long-range missiles is nothing but an open threat to upset the strategic balance.

The Russian president made no threats; he just wanted to explain the measures his country had to take in response. This is quite a natural thing to do at a time when arms control is in crisis. None of the weapons systems he mentioned violates the New START Treaty. Russia never said it wanted to withdraw from the arms-control agreements still in force. It’s the US, not Russia, who seems to doubt that the New START or INF Treaty is worth preserving. The voices clamoring to tear up the intermediate-forces agreement are getting louder in America. There is a bumpy road ahead, so President Putin is taking steps to protect Russia’s citizens – which is exactly what he has always promised to do. Washington bears full responsibility for having convinced Moscow it needed to strengthen its defenses. Now America lags behind Russia in military technology that makes it possible for super weapons to be produced and added to the active arsenal. Tu l’as voulu, George Dandin!