Russia Says Its S-300 Missiles Tracked "Nervous" U.S. Pilots Over Syria


Michael Peck


Countdown to war?

Russia Says Its S-300 Missiles Tracked "Nervous" U.S. Pilots Over Syria

Moscow says that U.S. bombers and reconnaissance aircraft "reacted nervously" when tracked by Russian anti-aircraft missile batteries over Syria.

U.S. pilots allegedly got the shakes when Russia's advanced S-300V4 air defense systems tracked them at ranges of 200 to 300 kilometers (125 to 186 miles), Lt. Gen. Alexander Leonov, chief of Russia's air defense forces, told Izvestia (Google translation here). The aircraft types were not specified, though the United States has flown multiple models over Syria, including the F-22, F-15, F-18 and drones.

Leonov said the S-300V4 was deployed to Syria in 2016 to expand control of the airspace over eastern Syria, as well as to prevent enemy attacks on the Khmeimim airfield and the supply base at the port of Tartus. Leonov did not specify which enemies the missile batteries were supposed to defend against: the Syrian rebels lack aircraft, while U.S. and Israeli planes operate over Syria.

Recommended: This Video Shows What Happens if Washington, D.C. Is Attacked with Nuclear Weapons

Recommended: 8 Million People Could Die in a War with North Korea

Recommended: Why North Korea Is Destined to Test More ICBMs and Nuclear Weapons

Leonov's comments came after the New York Times reported last month that U.S. F-22s had almost engaged Russian Su-24 strike aircraft attacking American-supported rebels in Syria. Interestingly, Russian media also suggested then that American pilots were chicken: the F-22s allegedly turned tail and fled into Iraqi airspace after being confronted by a "multifunctional super-maneuverable Su-35S fighter," Russia's Defense Ministry claimed.

Leonov also touted improvements in Russian air defense. "Since 2014, the latest modification of the S-300V4 long-range antiaircraft missile system, the most long-range in its class, has come into service," he told TASS. The upgraded S-300V4 missiles are more lethal against aircraft and ballistic missiles.

Russia has also improved the Buk medium-range SAM system, including upgraded radar for the Buk-M2 model with better detection capabilities for aircraft and cruise missiles flying at extremely low level, said Leonov. Since 2016, the Russian military has been receiving the latest version of the Buk-MZ. "Due to their multifunctional radar station with a phased array antenna and new missiles, the Buk-MZ systems are two to three times superior to the capabilities of the previous SAM systems of this class," Leonov added. "One self-propelled unit can fire on up to six targets."

Leonov described several ongoing development projects for air defense. The Arctic version of the Tor-M2, mounted on cross-country tractors, will be fielded next year. A replacement is being developed for the venerable ZSU-23-4 Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft gun-reportedly a 57mm weapon-which Leonov said will be more survivable than the Shilka because it uses passive rather than active sensors.

For man-portable anti-aircraft missiles, Russia is developing a command and control vehicle for the commanders of air defense platoons. In addition, an air defense training complex will use remote-controlled targets to simulate jets, cruise missile, tactical UAVs and hovering attack helicopters.

Michael Peck, a frequent contributor to TNI, is a defense and historical writer based in Oregon. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, WarIsBoring and many other fine publications. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Read full article

More Related News

White House: Russia call for Ukraine referendum illegitimate
White House: Russia call for Ukraine referendum illegitimate

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House said Friday it "is not considering supporting" a Vladimir-Putin-backed call for a referendum in eastern Ukraine in the aftermath of President Donald Trump's meeting with the Russian president.

Russia says Putin, Trump discussed referendum in Ukraine
Russia says Putin, Trump discussed referendum in Ukraine

MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed a possible referendum in separatist-leaning eastern Ukraine during their Helsinki summit earlier this week, Russia's ambassador to the U.S. said Friday.

Microsoft detected Russian phishing attacks on three 2018 campaigns
Microsoft detected Russian phishing attacks on three 2018 campaigns

Russia is still launching cyberattacks against the US, a Microsoft exec has

Trump 'disagrees' with Putin offer to interview Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump "disagrees" with Russian President Vladimir Putin's offer to allow the U.S. to question 12 Russians accused of interfering in the 2016 election in exchange for permitting Russia to interview Americans the Kremlin accuses of unspecified crimes, the

Putin Tells Diplomats He Made Trump a New Offer on Ukraine at Their Summit
Putin Tells Diplomats He Made Trump a New Offer on Ukraine at Their Summit

Vladimir Putin told Russian diplomats that he made a proposal to Donald Trump at their summit this week to hold a referendum to help resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine, but agreed not to disclose the plan publicly so the U.S. president could consider it, according to two people who attended Putin

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.