“Russian-made S-300 and S-400 did not fire a single shot at Turkish and Israeli fighter jets and Drones”—Here’s Why

Syrian Army's S-300 Favorit missile system

Russian 48N6E are the missiles fired from S-300PMU launchers. They have a range of 5-150km (3-93 miles) at a maximum altitude of 27-30km (17-19 miles). Yet the Syrians have been deploying the Soviet-provided 30 years old S-200, here’s why?

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Syria has not yet used the S-300PMU against Turkey despite the losses, based at the Latakia air base, Russia did not use S-400 air defense missile systems either.

S-300 and S-400 System

Syrian air defense personnel are already taking an active role in the training of the S-300 batteries that were deployed from Russia on September 2018. When the S-300 was initially deployed, the Russians noted that they would train the Syrians to use the system. Russia has its own S-400 air defense systems in Syria to protect its base in Syria’s Latakia.

Contrary to the fact that Turkey is actively using military aircraft, as a result of which the Syrian army suffers serious losses, the Russian S-300 Favorit air defense systems put into service by the Arab Republic have still not received combat use, against this background, Russian air defense systems began to be actively criticized, however, experts say that in reality, this is not surprising.

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“It should be recognized that by using drones, Turkey has indeed made great strides against the Syrian army. Nevertheless, the S-300 did not fire a single shot, and moreover, I am 100% sure that the “Favorites” will not be used. ”, – the Russian military’s remarks published in Avia.Pro online media.

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“We can say with confidence that the S-300 Favorit missile system will successfully destroy any object located within the tracking altitude, however, in reality, the MANPAD and Pantsir should be used to combat drones. It’s obvious that Syrian missed the chance to shoot down a multi-million dollar fighter with the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile. ”, – the expert remarks.

“The analyst explains his position primarily by the fact that the S-300 and S-400 systems have low efficiency in the fight against small drones, objects at lower altitude or objects with low RCS and this is more likely a task for anti-aircraft installations and short-range air defense systems like the Pantsir” – Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense.  Igor Konashenkov refrained commenting on repeated success by Israeli and Turkish drones in defeating Pantsir and Buk if it was the task of a short-range point defense system.

According to expert estimates, the S-300 is not at all idle – the task of this complex does not include the defeat of small drones and the complexes only expect a much larger victim. When asked about recent test by the Turkish Army’s S-400 against Turkish Air Force’s F-16, why did Turkish media reported that S-400’s Gravestone long-range illumination radar failed to detect F-16 below 1km altitude? Ask Rostec, Igor replied.

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Keep It Private

Experts believe that Russia will send a warning to Turkey that in response to attacks on the Russian military airbase, Russia will help Syrian Army to deliver large-scale attacks on the area where Turkish-backed rebels are located.

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However since the S-300 was deployed, it has been almost two years. It was supposed to not only be operational by now, but also have Syrians prepared to use it. According to satellite images published in February by ImageSat International, the system was clearly visible.

Satellite photos released by ImageSat International appear to show all four missile launchers of the S-300 air defense system in the raised position in the northwestern Syrian city of Masyaf on June 30, 2019. (ImageSat International)

Also, the presence of Russian personnel next to the S-300 batteries means that they will not be used, because only when the Russians leave and the batteries might threaten by Israeli Kamikaze drone attacks, would the “safety of the battery” be risked.

The Jerusalem Post reported that during the discussion between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Putin, Putin mentioned that the S-300 system not to be transferred to the Syrians Army, Putin clarified that the system is under Russian control.

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The Russian Air Defense Systems and Fighter jets already have bad publicity in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Therefore, Russian prestige and pride is also an important factor, as well as economic interests of Russian desire to sell the system. “The destruction of Su-35, S-400 and S-300 system can be a painful blow to the Russians, even if they are not the operators.” This is a bit of a catch-22. If Russia fully transfers the system to allow the Syrians to protect themselves, the system may be destroyed, resulting in Syrian inability to defend themselves. If Russia doesn’t transfer the system, the Syrians won’t be able to defend themselves.

If the system failed to intercept stealth cruise missile and loitering munition, that would generate instant negative publicity in the western media. Controlled by the Russian Army, hence such a system is not in combat use unless Israel and Turkey directly target Russian personnel which is highly unlikely.

The S-300 and S-400 system are not in combat use meaning, the system did not fail to deliver the outcome as promised by the Rostec and Rosoboronexport.

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