Intelligence: NATO And The Turkish Leak


August 4, 2011: Turkey is considering purchasing Russian (S300) or Chinese (HQ-9) anti-aircraft missile systems. As a result, because Turkey is a NATO member, and Russia and China are not, NATO informed Turkey that if they bought the Russian or Chinese systems, they would no longer be able to receive NATO classified information pertaining to air defense systems. This is because of the risk of Russia or, especially, China gaining access to these data. Moreover, the Russian and Chinese systems are not, understandably, compatible with NATO ones. That problem could be fixed, but it would again raise the issue of China and Russian obtaining classified technical data on NATO air defense systems.

Turkey believes that the security issue is overblown, and simply a ploy by the United States (which is offering its Patriot system in the competition) and France (which is offering its SAMP/T Aster 30) to knock out the cheaper competition. But there is a real security issue here, although not a unique one. There is a NATO nation (Greece) that has a S300 system. But this was not bought from Russia, but from Greek Cyprus, as part of a deal to settle a political crises with Turkish Cyprus and Turkey. The S300 was moved to the island of Crete, where it served, for all practical purposes, as part of a anti-aircraft test facility. But Turkey wants S300s or HQ-9s for defending Turkey, as part of the NATO air defense system. NATO says no, and that is unlikely to change.





Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close