Turkey - Geopolitical & Geostrategic.

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
I would disagree because the Russians may be many things, but being stupid isn't one of them. Major western powers have become accustomed to fighting with air superiority and have neglected some capabilities. They haven't had to face a real near peer air threat since WW2 with the closest being the Falklands War in 1982. So their ground forces don't have a proper air defence doctrine and capability, and if it isn't a doctrinal requirement then that doctrine is incomplete and not fit for purpose.
I did not accuse them of stupidity. I said they, and the west, have different doctrines. And therefore mixing equipment from both sides, when the requirements of each doctrine are apparent in said equipment, would in itself be counter-productive.

Russian air defenses are built for mission sets that do not exist nearly in that capacity in western doctrine.

Yes, Russia has a lacking air power in comparison to the west now, on top of a technological gap. Therefore it cannot implement western doctrine of utilizing the AF as the primary air defense tool.
But the very high density of air defense assets is also a result of other factors, like deficiency in ground combat capabilities and heavy reliance on various types of artillery.

If one were to build an air force modeled after western doctrine, and an air defense force modeled after eastern doctrine, he'd get an amazingly resilient aerial defense and local superiority. However, this very high level of system redundancy would be prohobitively costly for anyone that isn't a superpower, and would gnaw at the balance of expenditure on improving existing capabilities versus creating new ones.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Russian air defenses are built for mission sets that do not exist nearly in that capacity in western doctrine.
Apologies, I'm lost here. What type of mission sets and are they very or slightly different?

But the very high density of air defense assets is also a result of other factors, like deficiency in ground combat capabilities and heavy reliance on various types of artillery.
As well as the WW2 experience. My mention of realistic was in relation to the fact that in any conflict with NATO or the U.S. the Russians fully recognise and accept that air superiority will not be achieved in the early days and that it will take a while to wear down the enemy's airpower through attrition. Russian layered and networked AS systems are designed to not only compensate for the fact that air superiority might not be achieved and for limitations in Russian airpower but to also make it prohibitive for the enemy to sucessfully deploy airpower; at am operational/tactical and strategic level.

However, this very high level of system redundancy would be prohobitively costly for anyone that isn't a superpower
Doesn't the Israeli AD network have a large level of redundancy?

It's powerful, yes. But in a country with western fighting doctrine, it's simply incompatible.
Assuming the resources and the need was there; why would it incompatible to have a Russian style layered and networked AD system with a high level of redundancy to operate along an air force trained, organised and operated along Western lin
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
They haven't had to face a real near peer air threat since WW2 with the closest being the Falklands War in 1982.
I would think that in terms of AD systems the biggest threat the West has faced - on paper - was Iraq's French supplied KARI network with its multiple radars, SAM sites and AA batteries. The greatest challenge they actually faced was those presented by the Serbs. Ultimately; in both wars despite certain challenges and setbacks faced; Western air power was not prevented from doing successfully its job. Whether the same would apply in the event of a NATO/Russia conflict or a U.S/China one really remains to be seen.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Guy, I see the point Big_Zucchini is making but I might need a few months of research to help illuminate — sorry I can’t help much here at this time, as I am too tired after reading and writing about Taiwan’s gaps and what the JMSDF brings to island hoping. To put it simply, I don’t think he is obliged to explain much more, unless he wants to — keep it fun for him too.

The French supplied KARI is neither Western nor Eastern. It’s just what the customer pays for — in this case Saddam and sons.

The reason I say this, I don’t want to explain this difference at an open source level, in the way that can help an enemy. Singapore has a nice IADS system with many layers but I don’t want to explain its weaknesses — every system has some weakness. Hamas was certainly testing IDF’s Iron Dome, and it is not in his interest to help others understand the threat matrix as he sees it — as they need to penetrate this defended space to conduct strikes in Syria.

Don’t really want the Russians and their customers, like Turkey and China to get smarter, faster (as China is planning for an air superiority fight with India). The Russians have their own way of thinking which does not work for a Western type Air Force. It’s obvious to me, but not easy to explain.
 
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Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
Apologies, I'm lost here. What type of mission sets and are they very or slightly different?
Same mission, different capacity. It's about to what extend must a battery be independent, and in some cases even how you define battery, and on that I will expand in the next point.
Doesn't the Israeli AD network have a large level of redundancy?
Yes, but it is built differently.


Assuming the resources and the need was there; why would it incompatible to have a Russian style layered and networked AD system with a high level of redundancy to operate along an air force trained, organised and operated along Western lin
Assuming resources are there is already quite a big assumption, and I'd argue going both ways is not cost effective for most countries.

Anyway, let's take for example the Israeli David's Sling versus an S-400.
The S-400 battery would be composed of a C2, firing units, replenishment units, and various types of radars which can vary between batteries. Let's say some early warning, fire control, and rarely an elevated radar.
All said components are forming a battery that always travels in that formation. All components are on all terrain vehicles.
The batteries are organized into battalions where unique components may be added.

A David's Sling system, however, does not really exist in batteries per se. Its C2, missiles, and sensors, are somewhat separate entities that may be located quite far apart from one another. Through networked operation, the David's Sling system receives data from its own radars, and also from forward deployed radars like Iron Dome or artillery units, and will receive early warning from strategic radars of other units. Its early warning is effectively from the Arrow system's main radars.

For example, the David's Sling fired operationally once, firing 2 missiles at Syrian SS-21 ballistic missiles. In that incident they did not intercept their targets - they did not fail, they just should not have been launched but I won't explain why.
Still, the missiles were fired not from the unit's base where the C2 is also located, but actually quite a long distance north of it. Launchers for the system are spread to cover the whole country, but the C2 doesn't move, and radars move with other units, independently of the David's Sling battery.

That's where David's Sling gets its redundancy - by utilizing existing assets for its own gain. It is however somewhat dependent on external assets for success.
The S-400 gets its redundancy by replicating assets for every battery to be fully independent.

For roughly the same result you're playing with cost and how many assets you present to the enemy.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
The French supplied KARI is neither Western nor Eastern. It’s just what the customer pays for — in this case Saddam and sons.
The prime contractor was Thomson CSF which supplied the C2, plus a number of primary surveillance and alerting devices, connected via fibre optic cables. If memory serves me, from what I read during the early 1990's the French also integrated an number of Soviet systems to KARI, which however only covered a part of Iraq. There were still considerable gaps and a plan to expand KARI was never realised.

Also, quite a number of Iraqi AD systems were not integrated into Kari and if various reports from that period were true, after the invasion of Kuwait and the the subsequent coalition build up, data on Kari was made available by the French.

Singapore has a nice IADS system with many layers but I don’t want to explain its weaknesses
Nor was I expecting you to :]

In this case, Singapore's small size is actually an advantage as the various sensors and weapon systems which makes the IADS [together with ISR assets which are not part of the IADS per see but are networked to it] provides coverage over the whole island and beyond, in a way it wouldn't in a much larger country.
 
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STURM

Well-Known Member
Zucchini,

Thank you for that, it was extremely informative and helpful in explaining the diffrent ways both countries go about doing things.

Your mention of David"s Sling being dependent on external assets got me wondering whether S-400s in the Moscow Defence Region would benefit from data obtained from long range ABM radars. I would be surprised if it wasn't the case.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
I would think that in terms of AD systems the biggest threat the West has faced - on paper - was Iraq's French supplied KARI network with its multiple radars, SAM sites and AA batteries. The greatest challenge they actually faced was those presented by the Serbs. Ultimately; in both wars despite certain challenges and setbacks faced; Western air power was not prevented from doing successfully its job. Whether the same would apply in the event of a NATO/Russia conflict or a U.S/China one really remains to be seen.
I recall reading that the French said that the Iraqis had reduced the capabilities of the KARI network by centralising communications, routing everything through a single overall command centre. I have no idea whether that was true, but I can see how it would fit Saddam's style.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member

A very interesting discusiion about Turkish neutrality in WW2. As the speaker makes clear the commonly held belief that although neutral, Turkey was pro German, is untrue. Turkey took its neutrality very seriously, to the point of imposing equal quotas on the export of raw materials to the belligerants to avoid being seen as tilting to any particular side.

Fast forward to the persent day Turkey is still maintaining a delicate balance, between it ties and obligations to the West [NATO], whilst also having to manage Russia, which is not only in its backyard but also a competitor in Libya and Syria.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group

A very interesting discusiion about Turkish neutrality in WW2. As the speaker makes clear the commonly held belief that although neutral, Turkey was pro German, is untrue. Turkey took its neutrality very seriously, to the point of imposing equal quotas on the export of raw materials to the belligerants to avoid being seen as tilting to any particular side.

Fast forward to the persent day Turkey is still maintaining a delicate balance, between it ties and obligations to the West [NATO], whilst also having to manage Russia, which is not only in its backyard but also a competitor in Libya and Syria.
Isn’t being a member of NATO a bridge to far wrt to being neutral, especially considering Putin’s recent moves?
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
In WW2 up to 1944 Turkey was neutral until it decided to take sides but by the 1950's it began its balancing act again. It was a NATO member but it received more Soviet aid/investment than any other non comunist country, including India.

Today its certainly non neutral again as its a NATO member but it still has to play its cards exrremely carefully, with the West and with Russia. Looking at how it handled things in the past in line with its strategic concerns and self interests, plus the need to habdle various countries, explains a lot of what its doing now
 
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swerve

Super Moderator
In WW2 up to 1944 Turkey was neutral until it decided to take sides but by the 1950's it began its balancing act again. It was a NATO member but it received more Soviet aid/investment than any other non comunist country, including India.

Today its certainly non neutral again as its a NATO member but it still has to play its cards exrremely carefully, with the West and with Russia. Looking at how it handled things in the past in line with its strategic concerns and self interests, plus the need to habdle various countries, explains a lot of what its doing now
Turkey stayed out of WW2 until there was no chance of a German invasion, the leadership knowing that their armed forces were outgunned & outclassed. The Allies were content with that.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group

Well it's obvious. US already offering F-16V to several 'friendlies' which should be below Nato Allies status like Turkey. If somehow Congress still hold this one, then there's no more excuse for Turkey keeping the allies status anymore.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
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Well it's obvious. US already offering F-16V to several 'friendlies' which should be below Nato Allies status like Turkey. If somehow Congress still hold this one, then there's no more excuse for Turkey keeping the allies status anymore.
Well Erdoğan really only has himself to blame for that. His ego is writing cheques that his not in a position to cash. He's upset the Americans, the Europeans, the Israelis, the Egyptians, the Saudis. He was involved with Belarus transshipping migrants to the EU as a form of gray warfare. He's a security danger to NATO.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
then there's no more excuse for Turkey keeping the allies status anymore.
Both NATO and Turkey for various reasons have no desire to reach a point where Turkey isn't a NATO member anymore. There is just too much at stake and various long term geo-political considerations to factor in. Personally it's a matter of profound indifference to me how this eventually plays out but they way I see it; most have been looking at things mainly from a U.S. or a NATO/Western centric lens; not taking into consideration that Turkey also has it concerns; its interests to watch out for.... It's not as if Turkey has reneged on its NATO commitments; has openly taken sides with Russia or has reached a point where actions it has undertaken are seriously compromising its NATO/U.S./Western allies.

Both sides engage in rhetoric and both sides give the impression that the other is solely or largely to blame for the current state of things. If Turkey is indeed a liability to the West/NATO or is a danger; then it should be kicked out and damn the long term consequences : period/full stop.


''The US also still needs, in the words of State Secretary Anthony Blinken, its “so-called strategic ally”. The Turkish military remains key for NATO’s eastern flank where Russia poses a formidable challenge. Turkey’s sale of Bayraktar TB2 drones to Ukraine, now deployed against the pro-Russian separatists on the battlefront in the Donbas, demonstrates its strategic value.

Ankara has also supported all NATO initiatives aimed at reassuring allies in the Black Sea, including regular exercises and rotation of naval ships from the US and other member states of the pact. Last but not least, Turkey’s role in the Middle East and North Africa, notably in Libya where it competes with Russia and in Syria, is another reason for Washington not to stonewall Ankara. The same is true of Afghanistan where Ankara has not let go of plans to play a role in securing Kabul airport.

US and Turkey are operating in a grey zone. The alliance is hanging by a thread, but it is too early to pronounce its demise. Transactionalism is the order of the day and it is likely the two sides will work on an issue-by-issue basis.''


 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
NATO is likely waiting to see what post-Erdogan looks like. If it is more of the same then Turkey might well be shown the exit door.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
NATO is likely waiting to see what post-Erdogan looks like. If it is more of the same then Turkey might well be shown the exit door.
Maybe but I doubt it. The West/NATO still needs Turkey and vice versa. Things haven't reached a stage where both sides are willing to part ways. Sure Erdogan isn't a nice chap and he apparently does things which are contary to Western interests but so do other leaders whom the West calls "allies". Also, Erdogan could still be an unsavoury character but if he went out of his way to ingtatiate himself with his Western allies we'd be hearing less complains about him in the Western press.
 

Vivendi

Active Member
Erdogan has taken a number of actions that are far beyond what the other NATO countries expect from a fellow NATO member, in particular the S-400 purchase of course, but also the way he tried to blackmail NATO by blocking a defense plan for Poland and the Baltics (Turkey still blocking defence plan for Poland, Baltics, NATO envoys say | Reuters).

Another major issue with Erdogan's Turkey is the suppression of independent media. Turkey ranks second in jailing journalists: Committee to Protect Journalists - Stockholm Center for Freedom (stockholmcf.org) and political opposition Turkey releasing murderers – but not political opponents – from prison amid coronavirus pandemic (theconversation.com)

Erdogan has many times attacked political leaders in EU countries (in particular Austria, Germany, and France) for their "anti-muslim" attitude and politics, which is somewhat ridiculous considering that Western European countries are quite good at protecting various religions including Islam. At the same time he is surprisingly little vocal when it comes to criticizing e.g. the Chinese concentration camps filled with Muslims.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Then in which case NATO/the U.S. should make a clear decision; weighting the pros and cons of Turkey remaining in the alliance. The problem is having Turkey expelled could lead to long term consequences and what Turkey is doing which is harmful or contrary to NATO's interests has to be seen in relation to how it still contributes to NATO and maintain its obligations/commitments; whatever they may be.
 
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