Iraqi F-16 fighter jet_03
An F-16 fighter jet. Photo for illustrative purpose. Image Credit: File

Ankara: Turkish fighter jets flying over the Mediterranean were threatened by Greek air defence missiles that locked radar on its F-16s, the Turkish Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Greece’s Russian-made S300 air defence system on the island of Crete harassed Turkish planes on August 23 as they flew over the Mediterranean, according to the statement.

Earlier this week, Turkey reported a similar incident carried out by the Greek military.

The dispute comes as tensions between the two Nato countries are on the rise again, given Turkey’s claims that military forces on some Greek islands in the Aegean Sea exceed limits and the ongoing dispute over Turkey’s natural gas exploration in the Mediterranean sea.

Radar lock means that the radar system of a missile or fighter jet automatically follows a selected target, tracking its flight to accurately hit. They are common in mock dogfights between rival countries that are not at war, where fighter jet pilots confront each other by targeting their rivals, but refrain from actually shooting.

Ankara said the incident is defined as “hostile action” by Nato’s engagement rules and it proves that Greece has been actively using Russian S300 air defense systems it acquired 23 years ago.