The Turkish military has released to the public the recordings of the warnings that were broadcast to the Russian Sukhoi-24M warplane as it allegedly entered Turkey’s airspace on Tuesday, and before it was shot down.
Turkey says the same warning was broadcast every 30 seconds for five minutes before its F-16 fighter jet fired an air-to-air missile at the aircraft that was “violating its airspace,” for a total of 10 times.
Some aerospace analysts who have studied the radar map showing the “violation” say the Russian warplane could not have spent more than 17 seconds over Turkish territory.
The warnings — which rescued Russian navigator pilot Captain Konstantin Murakhtin denies ever having heard — were recorded by at least two separate sources.
A civilian pilot from Lebanon now has told Al-Arabyia that he also heard the repeated warnings — and not for the first time — being broadcast to “unknown aircraft” by a Turkish Air Force radar station. Each time, he said, the warnings were “met with silence” as they were from the Russian fighter jet “this time as well.” In fact, he said he has heard those warnings at least two or three times a week as he flies a plane for Middle East Airlines, Lebanon’s national carrier, although there is no way to confirm it.
On Tuesday, he heard the warnings again, but this time he said the air controller’s voice sounded much more tense and even urgent. Because of that, the Lebanese pilot recorded a 17-second clip of the warning with his smartphone, which was then passed on to Al-Arabiya.
According to The Telegraph and The Independent, the voice on the recording is heard saying in English:
“Unknown air traffic position onto Humeymim 020, redirect to 26 miles. This is Turkish Air Force speaking – en guard. You are approaching Turkish airspace. Change your heading south immediately.”
Turkey released that recording to prove those warnings from the Turkish Air Force radar station to the Russian warplane were, in fact, issued not once, but numerous times and to refute claims by the Russian Defense Ministry that no warnings were issued.
In addition to the recording from the Lebanese pilot, another clip was recorded on the international UHF emergency frequency 243.000 MHz by a reader of The Aviationist who “wishes to remain anonymous.”
According to this report as well, The Aviationist points out “we must highlight that similar messages have been radioed to unknown/Russian aircraft in the vicinity of the Turkish airspace in the past as well and recorded/heard by radio-hams and airband listeners located in Turkey and Greece.”
If such is the case, then in fact Turkey did indeed broadcast numerous messages to the Russian pilots; but the warnings did not come from the Turkish F-16 fighter jet which shot down the Su-24M. The pilots of the Turkish F-16 never contacted the pilots of the Russian Su-24M at all.
It is entirely possible that in the land of “diplospeak” this discrepancy point the way out of what might otherwise be the start of a nasty new conflict that could be fanned by interested parties into a third world war. Let’s hope so. It’s the first Russian warplane to be shot down by a NATO member since the end of World War II.