Belarus dangers angering US over order of superior Russian S-400 missile system that has sparked worries for NATO warplanes

The Ministry of Defense in Belarus introduced on Thursday that it’s at a complicated stage of negotiations with Russia to acquire one of many world’s most subtle anti-aircraft missile techniques.

Igor Golub, the commander of the nation’s Air Force, informed reporters that “we are continuing pre-contract work to equip our missile units that are currently using the S-300 systems with the new S-400,” its extra trendy successor. He added that “we have already signed contracts [with Russia] for the supply of Mi-35 multifunctional attack helicopters and the second batch of Su-30SM fighter jets.”Commenting on latest navy workout routines by the anti-air battalions on the identical day, Minsk mentioned that “securing new and modernized weapons, and special military equipment… in the fight against precision weapons and armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles is a priority, looking at the experience of modern conflicts in the region.”

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Among the checklist of {hardware} on account of be obtained by Belarus, the S-400 is more likely to trigger essentially the most concern within the West. While Minsk set out its intentions to improve its techniques in August final 12 months, there had solely been hypothesis that the truck-mounted launcher was on its want checklist. Described by worldwide analysts as “arguably the best strategic surface-to-air missile systems in operation today,” the Russian-made launcher has been aggressively lobbied towards by the US.The Pentagon has warned that the S-400 poses a brand new problem to American-made fighter jets, together with the flagship Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter. “You cannot operate an F-35 in the vicinity of an S-400,” General Todd Wolters of the US European Command mentioned, insisting that the launcher would “attempt to exploit the F-35’s capabilities,” While this has been offered as an existential drawback, Israeli F-35s have been flown near Russian S-400s deployed in Syria with out incident.In December final 12 months, Washington introduced that it will put in place a package deal of sanctions in response to a deal brokered between Turkish chief Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin to provide Ankara with the system. “The US has expressed to the Government of Turkey, at the most senior levels, that the acquisition of Russian military systems such as the S-400 is unacceptable,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus mentioned on the time.

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Despite being a member of NATO, Turkey’s possession of the primarily defensive launcher was seen as a menace each to American air supremacy and the US arms commerce. “We have also repeatedly offered them military equipment to help meet their operational needs in a way that doesn’t trigger sanctions,” Christopher Ford, the US assistant secretary for worldwide safety, informed reporters. “Unfortunately, Turkey turned down every single one of these efforts over the past several years now.”Despite the specter of sanctions, greater than a dozen international locations have expressed curiosity within the system, together with nations that in any other case purchase giant volumes of {hardware} from the US, corresponding to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.Belarus, not initially on the checklist of those that positioned orders for the anti-aircraft weapon, isn’t any stranger to sanctions. Since August, when veteran chief Alexander Lukashenko declared victory within the presidential election, which the opposition and plenty of worldwide observers say was rigged in his favor, the nation has confronted large civil protests. Thousands have taken to the streets to name for a brand new election, and have been met with a harsh crackdown from authorities. As properly because the EU, the US has already positioned sanctions on officers in Lukashenko’s authorities they imagine have been answerable for election fraud or the following violence.Think your folks would have an interest? Share this story!