The HISAR-U Siper long-range air de-fense system has been successfully tested in Turkey. The country’s M-inistry of Defense Indust-ry announced that it is expected to enter service in 2025–2026. Gazeta.Ru understood how realistic these plans were.
According to official data, the HISAR-U Siper system will be able to intercept air targets at an altitude of over 30 km. The Siper’s range will be 90-120 km.
Work on the first prototype will be completed in 2022–2023. Putting into service is expected in 2025-2026, said Ismail Demir , head of the secretariat of the defense industry of the presidential administration of Turkey . The leading Turkish defense corporations Aselsan, Roketsan and Tübitak SAGE worked together to create the system.
“The HISAR-U Siper s-hould compete with the R-ussian S-400 Triumph, ac-quired in 2019,” said the T-urkish newspaper Hurriyet .
Military experts interviewed by Gazeta.Ru question the stated deadlines, as well as the ability of the Turkish industry to compete with Russia in the area of air defense in the foreseeable future.
“This is not the first time the Turks have announced this project. In principle, Siper, judging by the publicly available data, as well as some indirect signs, is a good complex. As for the declared characteristics: they can write whatever they want. There is a common practice not to disclose real data and characteristics. And in the export passport, you can specify any information,”- told “Gaze-ta.Ru” the former first dep-uty chief of the air defense of the Ground Forces of Russia, Major General Alexander Tazekhulakhov.
In addition, according to him, it is highly doubtful that the Turks will be able to seriously compete or replace the S-400. After all, Russian anti-aircraft missile systems are capable of fighting hypersonic targets.
Ruslan Pukhov , director of the Center for Analysis and Strategies and Technologies ( CAST ) , in turn, notes that the plans of the Turkish Ministry of Defense Industry to put into service the Siper “at least raise questions.”
“Firstly, from the first test to the completion of all tests and the start of mass production, the Turks will have no less than 10 years. After all, the development of a missile and a homing head is a very non-trivial task. Secondly, today various air defense systems are produced by many states, but there are only two countries that are capable of creating the entire range of air defense systems from MANPADS to sub-strategic systems such as the latest Patriot and S-400, S-500 models. These are, respectively, Russia and the United States,” the expert emphasized.
According to him, if the Russian and American sides do it completely independently, then most other players in the arms market actively use foreign components in production, and Turkey will not be an exception.
Thus, if someone wants to “cut off the oxygen” of Turkey when supplying components, it will not be difficult to do so.
“Turkey in any case will not be able to ensure the mass production of critical components for these weapons. It will greatly depend on Ankara’s partners. It is still possible to safely “throw” on this for a few more years,” said Pukhov.
In his opinion, when and if the Turks manage to master this stage as well, it is unlikely that their serial production will be so large-scale as to compete with Russia and the United States. Since we will talk about limited mass production: they will first of all need to “saturate the needs” of their armed forces and “close their skies.”
“The Turks have big problems with their air defenses. They will not be able to think about exporting their systems earlier than 12-15 years after the last successful tests. At the same time, one should not forget that Russia is already putting the S-500 into serial production and is planning next-generation systems,” – reminded Pukhov.
At the same time, acco-rding to him, the United States is extremely reluctant to export its air defense systems. In addition, they are very expensive and are usually supplied to Washington’s closest allies. As for the Turkish plans, Pukhov urged to evaluate them with restraint and also for political reasons.
“There are too many political variables associated with Turkey in recent years. Erdogan has invested politically in import substitution and an emphasis on developing his own weapons. But it is not known whether the next Turkish authorities will also actively invest personal authority in the Turkish military-industrial complex and money in new systems? Perhaps they will prefer to return to the old paradigm, when they depended on arms supplies from the US and NATO,” Pukhov summed up.