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Satellite images al-Watiyah airbase located in northwest of Libya released which show new SAMs installed. In addition, a Turkish ECM Koral system can be seen in the published images.
Turkish military analyst Metin Gurcan, recently pointed out that “medium- and high-altitude air defense is vital for air dominance in the Sirte-al-Jufra axis, but this remains a problem for Turkey, though low-altitude air defense has been secured through the deployment of the Hisar air defense systems in Libya.”
But Turkey’s air defenses have their limitations. While Ankara also deployed two MIM-23 Hawk batteries at al-Watiya airbase, they did not prevent an air strike on the base on July 3 carried out by unidentified war planes.
Gurcan went on to note that Turkey’s far more advanced high-altitude S-400s haven’t been activated and the prospect of transferring those sophisticated missiles – which could establish a game-changing Anti Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) zone over wherever they are deployed – to Libya “is out of question.”
Italy’s itamilradar website revealed that Turkey was continuing its military cargo plane flights to western Libya, amid reports that Ankara may send the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord the Russian S-400 air defense system. Itamilradar reported that a Turkish Lockheed C-130E (63-13188) and an Airbuys A400M (16-0055) departed Istanbul, carrying weapons and ammunition, and landed in Tripoli’s Mitiga airport on Wednesday.
Their arrival coincided with Libyan activists’ posting on social media of military vehicles traveling towards western Tripoli, speculating that they were transporting air defense systems to the al-Watiya airbase, which was attacked by unknown jets last week.
Is Turkey installing the S-125 Pechora air defense system was purchased by Ankara from Ukraine? Back in December last year, the company “UkrSpetsExport” transferred in favor of K. B. A. T. Ithalat Ihracat Mumessillik Ve Danismanlik Ticaret Ltd one S-125 “Pechora” SAM. In total, Ankara will receive two s-125 Pechora air defense systems under a contract worth $ 30 million. This caused confusion among many analysts.
Experts believe that Ankara intends to use the S-125 Pechora SAM in the Middle East against Russian forces. In particular, against Turkey’s allies in Libya. It is worth noting that Turkey received the S-125 Pechora air defense system upgraded by Ukrainian engineers. They can boast full equipment, including cables, a set of ZIP, and even a pair of 5v27d UD guided missiles, although they are training. Turkey also purchased various radar stations from Kyiv for a total of 11 million dollars. Among the purchased weapons are a pair of MARS-L l-band radars, as well as a P-180U radar.
According to military experts, Kyiv is aware that Turkey can use the purchased weapons not only in Libya but also in Syria. It should be noted that Kyiv did not prohibit Ankara from transferring the purchased weapons to a third party.