Sophisticated Russian S-400 Air Defense Systems Reportedly Deployed in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Britain’s Daily Mail
reported it, saying this unmatched state-of-the-art system NATO calls the SA-21 ‘Growler’ was deployed at Syria’s coastal Latakia airbase.
It’s a formidable defensive system, able to strike targets up to 400 km away at altitudes up to 90,000 feet, including ballistic and cruise missiles.
It can distinguish between airborne and ground-based targets. Its sophisticated radar spots everything within its range, including tiny aircraft and stealth ones at low or high-flying altitudes.
According to an S-400 battery commander, “there is no such thing as ‘stealth’ aircraft. The system (can) see it and shoot it down.”
It’s operative at a moment’s notice, able to simultaneously engage up to 36 targets with up to 72 missiles. Three separate types are used - extremely long range 40N6, long range 48N6 and medium range 9M96 missiles.
Its effectiveness can neutralize US-led NATO air power. The system reportedly was deployed to protect Russian aircraft and personnel at Syria’s Latakia airbase.
According to the Daily Mail, Russia’s Defense Ministry invited around “50 foreign journalists to the airbase where the (system) could be clearly seen.”
It’s able to reach targets in most Syrian areas, as well as “southern Turkey, Cyprus, the eastern Mediterranean and much of Israel.”
Their deployment along with state-of-the-art Russian warplanes, gives Moscow control of Syrian airspace, able to effectively counter adversaries, a clear message to Washington not to interfere with its anti-terrorist campaign.
Previous generation S-300 systems reportedly will be delivered to Iran no later than March 2016, perhaps as early as yearend 2015, according to Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan.
Iranian forces are currently being trained to operate them. They’re able to hit multiple ground or airborne targets with up to 200 km away.
A new S-500 Prometheus air defense system is scheduled to be ready for service sometime next year. It’s currently being produced, intended mainly for Russian areas bordering NATO states.
RT International called its upgraded 40N6 missile “a genuine breakthrough for Russia’s national airspace defense as it significantly alters the operational capability of missile systems already in service.”
Russia currently has in place about “2,000 systems of various modifications of S-300 Favorite and first-rate S-400 Triumph.”
When operational, the S-500 will be able to hit targets up to 600 km away up to “low earth orbit” altitudes, at speeds up to seven km per second - the top ballistic missile speed reached at its highest trajectory in space.
S-class missile defense systems are fully mobile, areas where deployed easily shifted as conditions warrant.
Weeks of anti-terrorist combat operations in Syria clearly demonstrated Russia’s formidable military capability - its S-400 and soon-to-be-available S-500 SAMs another dimension to its offensive and defensive strength.
Separately, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commended Syrian military successes in recent weeks, saying:
“The offensive operations of the Syrian army continue with very positive dynamics. We know that over the past few weeks a number of strategic successes have been achieved by the Syrian military…with (effective) support of Russian aircraft…”
ISIS responded, releasing a five-minute video threatening retaliatory attacks in Russia and elsewhere in Europe. It claimed responsibility for twin Thursday Beirut suicide attacks, killing at least 43, injuring over 200 others.
A third attacker was killed before detonating his explosive belt, according to a Lebanese security official. The Shiite area struck is considered a Hezbollah stronghold.
Lebanon was targeted by explosions earlier this year, killing dozens. These type attacks can happen anywhere - maybe just a matter of time before one or more US and/or European cities are targeted, either by ISIS or a false flag attributed to them to enlist public support for continued imperial wars.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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