Russia’s second S-400 batch to Turkey requires huge airlift operation

Russia’s airlift operation to deliver the second batch of S-400 air defense systems purchased by Turkey is taking on huge proportions in terms of the amount of military equipment that needs to be hauled and the number of heavy aircraft flights required to do it.

According to official Russian political-military sources quoted by the TASS news agency, Russian heavy air-lifters (likely Il-76s and or An-124s) are expected to perform “dozens of flights” over a period spanning “several weeks”.

The dimensions of the operation should come as no surprise; each individual S-400 system is made up of numerous heavy wheel-mobile units.

To give an example, these mobile S-400 sub-systems include missile launcher units, reloading vehicles, the main fire-control radar, the battery-level GPS jammer unit, an early warning radar and a command vehicle.

What comprises the “second batch” of S-400 systems to Turkey is officially unknown. In all probability, it is a reference a battalion-sized force (with nine missile launchers) of the air defense system.

In this regard, Turkey acquired its first battalion-size force (or its “first batch”) of systems in mid-July this year which was reportedly deployed to an airbase in the country’s north.