26 September The Ministry of Defense of Turkey determined the winner of the T-Loramids tender for the supply of new long-range anti-aircraft missile systems, held since 2009. Rosoboronexport with the Antey-300 C-2500BM complex, Raytheon / Lockheed Martin, a US consortium with Patriot PAC-3, European Eursam with SAMP / T Aster 30, and CPMIEC China Corporation with HQ-9 (a modified copy of Russian C-300 and Chinese CPMIEC with HQ-XNUMX (a modified copy of Russian C-XNUMX and Chinese CPMIEC with HQ-XNUMX (modified Russian C-XNUMX) ). To the surprise of the leadership of NATO and the bidders, the latter became the winner of the tender, offering the Turks an appropriate technical requirements, but a significantly cheaper anti-aircraft system.
As part of the tender, the Turkish government planned to spend at least four billion dollars on the purchase of new anti-aircraft missile systems. In this case, the amount could be increased if the winner of the competition participates in the Turkish program to develop an anti-aircraft system, as well as refine the proposed complexes to the requirements of the Turkish Ministry of Defense. So, in January of this year, the country's military department announced a change in the conditions of the tender, supplementing them with the requirement to adapt the proposed equipment and transfer production technologies to the buyer.
Until the very moment of summing up the tender, it seemed that Ankara would prefer either European or American anti-aircraft complexes. At the same time, it was already unofficially rumored that Turks prefer Chinese HQ-9. Nonetheless, the fact that Turkey has been a member of NATO since February 1952 and is trying to adhere to the military standards of the North Atlantic Alliance spoke in favor of the procurement forecast for Patriot or SAMP / T.
The basis of the Turkish air defense system is the American anti-aircraft missile systems MIM-14 Nike-Hercules, MIM-23 Hawk XXI, British-Turkish Rapier, American-Turkish FIM-92 Stinger and national Atilgan PMADS. A network of American-made radar stations, including the powerful AN / TPY-2 radar in Malatya, is in charge of air defense information support. In addition, Turkey also receives data for the air defense system from the European automated system for controlling NATO air defense forces and facilities.
The fact that at the height of the civil war in Syria in 2012, Turkey asked the United States, Germany and the Netherlands to deploy six Patriot complexes on their territory, and not any others, was also taken into account. Currently, they cover the Turkish-Syrian border in areas of cities such as Adana, Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep. However, despite the totality of these favorable factors, the participation of the Russian and Chinese complexes in the Turkish tender (and Russia initially proposed to the Turkish Ministry of Defense and the C-400 complexes) caused concern to the leadership of the North Atlantic Alliance. Over time, it became clear that this excitement was not unfounded.
So, in August 2011, the NATO leadership asked Ankara to refrain from buying C-300ВМ or HQ-9. Official representatives of Brussels justified their request by the impossibility of connecting Russian or Chinese complexes to the unified airspace control system of the alliance. Later, the Turkish government received several more such warnings, one of which came from the White House. It should be noted that such a request from NATO was the first time when the leadership of the North Atlantic Alliance tried to directly intervene in the tender of one of its members.
The current decision of the Turkish military leadership is not without a comic, which is that Turkey chose Chinese copies of C-300P instead of the original, albeit somewhat more expensive, complexes. At the same time, Beijing, which is actively supplying HQ-9 to its troops, prefers to cover the largest cities of China with Russian anti-aircraft missile systems, rather than with their own modified copies. In particular, in 2010, Russia completed the delivery of the PRC 15 divisions of C-300PMU-2 complexes, which defended Beijing and Shanghai. This fact is a kind of compliment to Russian producers, and it also puzzles the choice made by Ankara.
The fact is that the purchase of Chinese (as well as Russian) complexes will entail a whole chain of intractable tasks. In particular, it will be difficult for the Turks (and without the consent of the United States and NATO altogether impossible) to integrate HQ-9 into a single air defense system. After all, for this, Turkey will have to order from the Chinese supplier a revision of a number of systems to ensure compatibility with NATO standard equipment. In this case, it will be necessary to request technical information about the operation of their equipment from the alliance and the manufacturers of the equipment supplied earlier, and the transfer of this data to China is fraught with leakage of secret information. And such information will be needed even if the HQ-9 complexes are connected not directly, but through a system-translator (which, besides for the extra money, will have to be designed and created).
Representatives of the North Atlantic Alliance have already stated that connecting Russian or Chinese complexes to the NATO air defense system will allow Moscow or Beijing to gain access to important intelligence information, and such integration will not have the opposite effect - the alliance will not have access to secret information from Russia and China. However, even without integration, HQ-9 can be used to effectively cover important objects, since the complexes have their own radar and are able to operate independently of a single air defense system. However, in this case, Turkey will face certain difficulties. We are talking about the exchange of codes on the "friend or foe" system.
Currently, the Turkish Air Force is flying F-227C / D Fighting Falcon, 16 F / RF-152E Phantom II and F / NF-4A / B Freedom Fighter American fighter jets. The responders of the “friend or foe” system of these aircraft are tuned to the standard NATO recognition system, and their interfacing with the polling systems of the HQ-5 complexes will be impossible. First of all, because NATO will not agree to disclose information about its code system and information exchange, and without this, it will not be possible to set up Chinese recognition systems "friend or foe". It is theoretically possible for the additional equipment of the fighters to be respondents compatible with the HQ-9 complexes, but this decision looks extremely doubtful. In particular, it will be difficult to ensure the compatibility of two identification systems of different types on one plane.
But the humor of choosing Turkey in favor of HQ-9 does not end there either. The fact is that intentionally or not, the winner of the Turkish tender was the China Precision Machinery Import Export Corporation (CPMIEC), which is currently subject to US sanctions imposed for violating the ban on the supply of weapons and military equipment to Iran, Syria and North Korea. Thus, it turns out that Turkey not only ignored the demands of the organization of which it is a member, but also dealt a kind of blow to the US foreign policy. Although the United States sanctions against CPMIEC apply only to American companies, countries allied with Washington often try to adhere to them.
Seated on two chairs
28 of September of the current year expressed their discontent with the Turkish choice of the USA. A spokesman for the country's State Department, in particular, said: “We expressed our serious concern about the negotiation of a contract between a company subject to US sanctions and the Turkish government regarding missile defense systems that would not be compatible with NATO or the collective defense. It should be noted that such attention from the American authorities was somewhat embarrassed by the Turkish leadership, which began to actively vilify.
Shortly after announcing the serious concern of the American side, Turkish President Abdullah Gul announced that the choice made by the Turkish military was not final and could be revised: “There is a list of bidders and China is in the first line. We need to examine the conditions, but there is no doubt that Turkey is primarily a member of NATO. This is a multidimensional problem, there are technical and economic aspects, and on the other hand, there is a dimension of allied relations. All of them are rated. Turkey needs a defense system. ” Allegorically, in its desire to form its own powerful air and missile defense system, Turkey is trying to sit on two chairs without offending anyone. As they say, climb a tree and take a ride on a tractor.
The activity of NATO and the United States, which in the alliance are considered the main preoccupation, can be explained more simply than by political motives and unwillingness to integrate Chinese complexes into a single air defense system for security reasons. In the end, Greece, which has been a NATO member since 1952 and owns two C-300PMU-1 batteries, is not forced by anyone to abandon them and completely switch to the standards of the alliance. At the same time, the Ministry of Defense of the country is not offended by NATO intelligence. The same applies to other member states of the North Atlantic Alliance: Slovakia and Bulgaria. They also own a total of three C-300 batteries. Not to mention the medium and short-range systems, such as, for example, 2K12 "Cube" or 9K31 "Strela-1".
It follows from this: it is possible that the varying degrees of severity of warnings from NATO and the United States are nothing more than one of the stages of the struggle for victory in the Turkish tender. The T-Loramids tender lasted almost three years, Russia and China participated in it practically from the very beginning, but at the same time, NATO and the United States for some reason decided to wake up only closer to summarizing its results and toughening their rhetoric soon after the winner was announced. Moreover, given that the Patriot is the most common system within the alliance, it is not at all difficult to determine on whose mill the water of the free arms market is pouring. And, presumably, it would not be surprising if, after some time, the Turkish government announces a review of its decision and a victory in the T-Loramids competition of American anti-aircraft missile systems.
The first call for Russia
Meanwhile, the results of the Turkish tender testify not only to the crisis in relations between the country and the North Atlantic Alliance and the United States, but also to the deep crisis in the Russian export mechanism of armaments and military equipment, which is becoming increasingly difficult to resist the fierce competition from the defense industry of China and its export corporations. Every year, the PRC increases the volume of supplies of weapons and military equipment, often representing modified and refined copies of foreign-made military samples. At the same time, he manages to successfully squeeze out traditional suppliers of weapons from already firmly, it would seem, conquered markets.
China’s success is facilitated by several factors, including the significantly lower cost of supplied weapons and military equipment (albeit of inferior quality), borrowing from the largest exporters weapons some methods of work in the foreign market, including related services, as well as the willingness to share with customers almost any technology used in the products supplied. The T-Loramids tender is a vivid example: the Chinese proposal turned out to be a billion dollars cheaper than its competitors, and CPMIEC agreed to provide Turkey with some HQ-9 technologies and to deploy an licensed production facility for anti-aircraft complexes on Turkish territory.
In 2011, in the Moroccan tender, the Chinese tank VT1A bypassed the Russian T-90C. Morocco bought 150 machines from China, which are modified copies of the T-72. It seems there is nothing to oppose China’s aggressive policy on the international arms market of Russia. Yes, domestic military exports in recent years have been developing at a tremendous pace (only in 2012 did armaments and military equipment worth more than 13 billions of dollars delivered abroad). Yes, deliveries of Russian-made military equipment are made in more than 80 countries of the world. Yes, Russia's long-standing military-technical cooperation partners are still willing to buy our weapons. But at the same time, competitive pressure from China can no longer be recognized. And every year it will feel stronger and stronger.
A partly emerging crisis in the export defense complex of Russia lies in an ill-conceived export policy and, no matter how trite it may sound, in marketing. The fact is that our country, as a rule, indulges potential buyers at overseas exhibitions with booklets of all sorts and toy models of plastic equipment. And the simulation of air combat, which is so loved in the West, is rarely seen. The buyer now went spoiled. It is not enough for him to be reliable and cheap. He wants to be prettier, even cheaper, and to be sure to describe how all this is done. China reads willingly, Russia does not.
Today, the main constraint preventing the PRC from exploring the global arms market even faster seems to be the implementation by the government of the country of the rearmament program for the People’s Liberation Army. Under this program, the Chinese authorities spend billions of dollars annually on their own armed forces ($ 114 billion in 2013), develop and buy new models of military equipment: fighters, transporters, helicopters, ships, Tanks, anti-aircraft missile systems. For the most part, China's manufacturing facilities are still working to meet the needs of their armed forces. However, it can be assumed that as these needs are met, more and more Chinese equipment will be supplied to foreign markets, which means that Russia will have only two ways: to change the system of foreign arms sales or to lose.