Perfectly "compatible" NATO air defense system "European descent" anti-missile weapons regained Turkey's favor
The successful development of the SAMP-T air defense missile system represents the realization of the autonomy of European air defense and missile defense.
The system is mainly used for medium-range ground air defense. It can deal with the saturation attack of tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, anti-radiation missiles, jet aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and other air raid weapons. It can protect field maneuvering forces, important rear facilities and key protection The goal is to provide air defense support.
Turkish Defense Minister Akar recently stated that Turkey is negotiating the purchase of air defense systems made in France or Italy, and may reach an agreement on the purchase of the SAMP-T air defense missile system manufactured by the European Air Defense Missile Company.
The SAMP-T air defense missile system is a type of air defense system developed by the United States' European allies to resist the Theater Missile Defense (TMD) program developed and promoted by the United States. It can be called an anti-missile weapon system of pure "European origin".
Earlier, when Turkey spent huge sums of money to publicly bid for air defense systems to the international community, the European SAMP-T air defense system also participated in the bidding.
However, after several setbacks, Turkey finally selected the Russian S-400 air defense system.
On October 23, Turkey confirmed that it had conducted live ammunition testing on the S-400 air defense system.
So, what is the performance of the SAMP-T air defense missile system?
Why did Turkey turn to SAMP-T again after choosing S-400?
A reporter from Science and Technology Daily interviewed Chen Guangwen, a military science writer.
Representing European air defense and anti-missile realization of autonomy
Air strike and air defense are the relationship between spear and shield.
With the development of precision strike forces dominated by missiles and advanced fighters, missile interception and air defense weapons that can counter them have become necessities for the militaries of all countries.
Chen Guangwen introduced that in the early days, the modernization of European air defense and missile systems was dependent on the United States, especially in air defense missiles, whether it was the "Sea Sparrow" series of short-range air defense missiles or the "Standard" series of missiles with regional air defense capabilities. It is equipped or deployed in many European countries.
It was not until the European Air Defense Missile Company produced the SAMP-T air defense system that this situation was finally broken.
In 1990, France and Italy signed a contract for the development of the SAMP-T land-based mobile air defense missile system with the European Air Defense Missile Company.
At the end of 1998, the first SAMP-T prototype system was functionally verified at the Italian Army's Sardinia Proving Ground.
In June 2000, the system was fully unveiled at the Berlin Air Show in Germany.
In 2001, the air defense system was successfully tested with live ammunition at the French Combat Appraisal Launch Center.
The system consists of three major parts: the fire control system, the missile launcher and the "Aster"-30 missile.
A typical SAMP-T air defense missile company includes 1 command and control vehicle, 1 "Arable" radar, and 6 "transport-elevate-launch" vehicles.
Each launch vehicle can hold 8 missiles and is accompanied by a transport vehicle carrying a large number of reloaded missiles.
"It can be said that the successful development of the SAMP-T air defense missile system represents the realization of the European air defense and anti-missile autonomy." Chen Guangwen said, "The system is mainly used for medium-range ground air defense and can deal with tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and anti-radiation missiles. Saturation attacks by air-strike weapons such as jets, drones, etc. can provide air defense support for field maneuvering forces, important rear facilities, and key targets for protection."
The disadvantage is that it has not been tested in actual combat
After several test launches, the French Air Force and the Italian Army began to install the first batch of SAMP-T air defense systems equipped with the "Aster"-30 missile in 2008.
Chen Guangwen introduced that since the basic SAMP-T air defense missile system can only intercept short-range missiles, in order to realize the ability of European anti-missile autonomy, the European air defense missile company has upgraded the system. The first upgrade is called "Aster" -30 Block-1, equipped with an improved seeker, fuze, signal processing system and directional blasting warhead, mainly for land-based short-range ballistic missile defense, used to intercept tactical ballistic missiles with a range of up to 600 kilometers. The ballistic missile is intercepted at the end.
The second upgraded version is called "Aster"-30 Block-2, which can intercept medium-range ballistic missiles with a range of 3,000 kilometers, and its maximum effective range is expected to reach more than 150 kilometers. It is mainly used as theater anti-ballistic missiles. Of course It can also be used for shipborne anti-ballistic missile systems.
"At present, the SAMP-T air defense systems equipped by the French and Italian armies all use the'Aster'-30 air defense missile. The emergence of this missile is an important manifestation of European countries' reduction of the influence of the United States and enhancement of national defense autonomy. In Europe,'Aster' The'-30 missile is regarded as an air defense missile weapon system comparable to the US'standard' series of missiles, and is known as the "European 21st century all-weather, all-round air defense missile system."" Chen Guangwen said.
Public information shows that the SAMP-T air defense missile system can simultaneously track more than 50 targets and direct missiles to attack 10 of the most threatening targets.
The "Arable" radar has a detection range of 100 kilometers for large aerial targets, and a detection range of 50 kilometers for small targets with a radar reflection cross-sectional area of only 0.5 square meters.
The system uses the 445 kg "Aster"-30 missile and a 15 kg fragment warhead. It targets low-speed flying aircraft such as reconnaissance aircraft. Its effective range can reach 70 kilometers. When the fighter's effective range is reduced to 20 kilometers.
"However, according to the information currently available, the Italian Army’s SAMP-T air defense missile system was deployed in Turkey during NATO’s “active intercept” operation in 2016. However, no combat operations have been conducted during this period, so it has not undergone actual combat tests. "Chen Guangwen said.
Will improve Turkey’s air defense capabilities
Previously, when Turkey publicly tendered air defense systems, the S-400 was finally tendered.
So, what was the reason why Turkey finally bid for S-400?
What is the reason why Turkey did not choose SAMP-T?
In this regard, Chen Guangwen introduced that S-400 is Russia’s third-generation surface-to-air missile system. It uses 4 types of specialized missiles to meet air defense needs. It can track 300 targets at the same time, and can attack 48 of them at the same time. The maximum flight speed is 5800 meters per second, can be used to destroy traditional air targets, including fighters, cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and UAVs, etc., especially capable of intercepting medium-range ballistic missiles with a range of 3500 kilometers.
"From the perspective of interception speed and interception range, SAMP-T is obviously inferior to S-400. S-400 can be called a long-range air defense and anti-missile system, while SAMP-T can only be called a medium-range air defense system at best. There is a big gap." Chen Guangwen said.
However, although S-400 is obviously superior to SAMP-T in all aspects, in addition to its excellent performance, Turkey purchased S-400 that year, partly because the United States refused to sell the "Patriot" air defense system to Turkey. In contrast, Russia did not wish to sell S-400 to Turkey, but also agreed to transfer technology.
This temptation can be said to be quite big, so Turkey finally bought the S-400.
"But in reality, S-400 cannot be integrated into NATO's air defense system, so it can only be regarded as an alternative among Turkish air defense forces. Therefore, the main reason why Turkey tried to introduce SAMP-T was that this system could not Integrate into the NATO air defense system network without barriers." Chen Guangwen said.
Judging from the current situation, Turkey's relations with the United States and Europe are very delicate.
So, at this time, what is Turkey's signal to buy SAMP-T air defense system?
"It should be said that when Italy deployed the SAMP-T air defense system in Turkey, the Turkish military was impressed. If SAMP-T can be purchased and deployed, Turkish air defense capabilities will be improved to a certain extent. Turkey has issued a plan to purchase SAMP-T. The signal is, first of all, the intention to ease relations with European countries. Of course, there are also considerations that the air defense system can be integrated into the NATO defense system." Chen Guangwen said, however, the current relationship between Turkey and France is tightening, and France has recalled its ambassador to Turkey. The upgrade may affect SAMP-T transactions.
In the future, Turkey's European procurement path is not expected to be smooth sailing.
But if the United States and Europe refuse to sell air defense systems to Turkey, then Turkey can only continue to introduce S-400, which may have a great impact on the construction of NATO's southern wing defense network.
Therefore, it is expected that European countries will continue to promote the sale of SAMP-T air defense systems to Turkey after the easing of relations between Turkey and France. This is only a matter of time.