Turkey tested Russian-made S-400 air defense systems on US-made F-16 fighter jets in November 2019, a source close to the Turkish defense industry told TASS on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, several media reported with reference to the Fighter Jets World portal that the Russian-made missile systems had been tested on US aircraft. The portal published a video footage by Turkey’s TRT channel, featuring Russia’s S-400 systems and US-made F-16 and F-4 aircraft, which was released via its official Youtube account on November 29, 2019.
"Yes, such trials have indeed taken place last November," the source told TASS when asked to comment on those media reports.
On November 25, 2019, CNN Turk reported that various aircraft, including F-16 fighter jets, were scrambled near Ankara to test S-400. The Turkish military tested communication between the air defense systems and the aircraft during those exercises.
Russia said in September 2017 that it had signed a $2.5 bln contract for supplies of its S-400 missile systems with Turkey. The first batch under the contract was delivered to Ankara by air transport in July 2019.
The United States and NATO have been seeking to break down the deal. The White House said in mid-July that "Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible."
Russia’s S-400 ‘Triumf’ (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is the latest long-and medium-range surface-to-air missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, and can also be used against ground installations. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of up to 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km under intensive enemy fire and jamming.