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Russia says Turkey tested its S-400s on US F-16 jets

The Jerusalem Post reports: “Turkey, a member of NATO, tested the Russian-made S-400 air defense system on US-made F-16 jets during a drill in November 2019, Russia’s state media TASS reported. The use of the S-400 against the F-16s was already reported last year, but the new details from Russian media appear to cement the claim and infer that something more was going on in those tests.

Russia has an interest in knowing how well its air defense performs against US warplanes. Russia’s S-400 is the top tier of its numerous air defense systems. Some of these systems have been called into question due to mistakes. S-200s used by the Syrian regime shot down a Russian airplane by mistake in 2018. Iranian models of Russian systems have scored big in 2019 with a shoot-down of a US drone, but the Iranians also shot down a civilian jetliner in January…

Thus it is of great importance that Russia would like to know how the S-400 performed against a NATO member’s F-16s. What Turkey got out of this test is less clear now. Why would Turkey test the S-400 it bought from Russia against its own F-16s, unless it was at the behest of Moscow who wanted to see how it performed. The narrative last year was that Turkey merely wanted to test communications between the platforms so it didn’t shoot down its own jets…”

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