‘Electromagnetic intervention may have downed Turkish jet’

Source: Today’s Zaman

Military experts are now claiming that a Turkish jet allegedly shot down by Syrian forces may have been downed as a result of “electromagnetic intervention.”

Although the Syrian military admitted it shot down the Turkish jet, the question of how the Turkish jet was brought down has remained a mystery. Some claims have surfaced in media reports indicating what might have caused the jet to go down. These claims include that the jet was taken down by a missile, anti-aircraft fire or a laser-guided or heat-seeking missile. There have also been some claims that the jet was downed as a result of accident or pilot error and not by Syrian forces.

The debate widened after Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz revealed that an examination of plane parts from the wreckage on July 8 showed there were no signs of a missile attack or anti-aircraft fire. On July 11, the General Staff raised the possibility of an accident by saying, “An ongoing examination of the pieces of the plane’s wreckage has revealed no results indicating that a weapon was used in the downing of the jet.”

Some military experts claim that the Turkish jet was downed as a result of “electromagnetic intervention.” The experts claim the jet was disrupted after being subject to high intensity radio waves released by electromagnetic (radiation) weapons.

Professor Selim Şeker from Boğaziçi University told Today’s Zaman that a plane cannot only be taken down but can also be directed to any destination with the help of electromagnetic weapons systems. Stating that armored cables should be used to prevent any electromagnetic intervention, Şeker said Turkish military planes are vulnerable to outside interference.

“Because Turkey imports military jets, the Turkish military does not know much about the software of these planes. As Turkey doesn’t have much information about the planes’ software, it is difficult to determine if the plane is exposed to electromagnetic fluctuations and what frequencies they are coming from. Thence, it [the Turkish military] cannot develop a prevention mechanism,” Şeker noted.

Another military expert who asked to remain anonymous told Today’s Zaman that because the software of the Turkish military planes was designed by the US and these planes are modernized by Israel, Turkey does not possess the software source codes for the planes, which constitutes a weakness.

“As Turkey does not own the software source codes, it can make Turkish planes open targets to outside intervention,” this expert explained.

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