Turkey has begun the live-fire testing of its new Russian-made S-400 Triumf advanced air defense system, local media reported Friday.
The missile system was reportedly test-fired from the Sinop province on the Black Sea coast.
A video, allegedly showing the test-firing, showed a narrow column of smoke shooting into the sky which is consistent with that of S-400 launch. Turkey was expected to test the system this week, after issuing notices warning vessels and aircraft to avoid the area in the Black Sea.
Турция провела испытания приобретенных в России зенитных ракетных систем (ЗРС) С-400. Испытания проводились в районе Синопа.
Каких-либо официальных заявлений от МО Турции в настоящий момент не опубликовано. pic.twitter.com/kl2B7ypiL3
— SwankyStas (@StasSwanky) October 16, 2020
Turkey’s defence ministry said it would neither deny nor confirm missile tests.
On Friday, the U.S. State Department has warned of “potential serious consequences” for its security relationship with fellow NATO member Turkey if it activates the system.
“If confirmed, we would condemn in the strongest terms the S-400 test missile launch as incompatible with Turkey’s responsibilities as a NATO ally and strategic partner of the United States,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
The acquisition of the Russian anti-aircraft system by NATO member Turkey was strongly objected by US. Following the acquisition, Washington suspended Turkey from the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, saying that the S-400 is a threat to the stealth fighter jet and it compromises the shared NATO air defence systems.
Washington has also warned Ankara that it risks U.S. sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) if the S-400 system is activated.
Russian state exports/imports agency, Rosoboronexport signed a contract for the supply of S-400 Triumph air defense systems to Turkey in April 2017. It was the company’s largest export contract with a NATO member.
Deliveries of the first four missile batteries, worth $2.5 billion, began in July last year.
The S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) is a long-range anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense system that has been in service with the Russian Army since 2007. The system was previously known as the S-300PMU-3.
The S-400 is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and surface targets. It can engage targets at a distance of 400 kilometers and at an altitude of up to 30 kilometers.
The system uses four missiles, the very-long-range 40N6 missile (400 km), the long-range 48N6 missile (250 km), the medium-range 9M96E2 missile (120 km) and the short-range 9M96E missile (40 km).
The S-400 is currently operated by Russian, Belarussian and Chinese Armed Forces. Turkey and India are awaiting the delivery of the system.