Syria’s Shield: New Air Defense System SHUT DOWN Israeli Missiles Before They Hit Their Target

The Ministry of Defense reports that Syrian air defense shot down 5 out of 8 Israeli missiles. Thus, Syrian air defense systems may be called quite effective. Just a few years ago, Syrian air defense wasn't able to intercept such missiles.

Artem Potyomin has studied the issue in detail.


Today, the Syrian air defense rests on the Soviet S-75, S-125 and S-200 systems. However, although skeptics claim they are obsolete and even troglodytic, they still actually do cope with their task quite well. For example, on February 10, 2018, Syrian air defense shot down an Israeli fighter. The F-16 then fired missiles at the Syrian territory, the response was immediate. After the incident, the Israelis tried to justify themselves, saying that the fighter had been shot down due to its crew's error. But the fact is that Israel lost a warplane for the first time in 35 years. And it was shot down by Syria's air defense. Today's case reconfirmed that Damascus won't allow violations of its aerial domain with impunity.

Mikhail Khodarenok, military expert: "Concerning the effectiveness of combat shooting, 5 out of 8 is a very high rate. 100% hit occurs hardly ever. Given the effectiveness of combat shooting, Syria's air defense components worked quite well".

By the way, Syrian air defense has been modernized over the past few years, and Syrian military have undergone additional training with the participation of Russian specialists. So, Israel must be not only quite courageous but also extremely reckless to carry out another air attack against Syria just two months later. Moreover, the attack was planned from the territory of a third state.

Mikhail Khodarenok, military expert: "I don't think it was agreed with Lebanon. First, Lebanese air defense systems can't fight with Israeli F-15s head-to-head. Secondly, it's safe to say that this combat mission was is well-prepared, that is, involving reconnaissance, electronic warfare support, all means of detecting and defeating a possible adversary were interfered, to make that mission successful".

Indeed, F-15 fighters are in service in the army of Israel and a number of other countries. As for the munition, guided missiles were supposed to cover at least 100 km from the Lebanese border to the T-4 airbase. Experts believe the Israeli Air Force has no such weapons, but others do.

Alexei Leonkov, military expert: "The only state that recently used Lebanese airspace is the US. The cruise missiles were fired at Shayrat through the territory of Lebanon, and Lebanon didn't object it".

The route was cruise missiles was elaborate too. The main thing was to avoid the zone of responsibility of Russian air defense systems, guarding the skies over the bases of Khmeimim and Tartus.

Andrei Koshkin, military expert: "Everyone knows that these facilities cannot be attacked, so no one attacks them. Otherwise, our systems will not only defend the bases but also eliminate the threat".

The T-4 base was also guarded by Pantsir systems made in Russia. They instantly detect targets while approaching a facility and shoot them down. Even cutting-edge weapons will hardly bypass these systems.

Alexei Leonkov, military expert: "These aircraft used are likely to have used different weapons. I mean the new generation AGM-158 JASSM cruise missiles. Their range is about 360 kilometers. The cruise missiles are stealthy, that is, they can't be detected at a long distance, they develop a speed of about 1000 kph. At the same time, it is a low-profile missile".

So, is this version proves correct, designers of JASSM missiles will have to reconsider their stealth technology. And those who decide to hit Syria from the air again should consider if it will be successful. So far, both the US and Israel have denied attacking the T-4 airbase.

Artem Potyomin and Anna Pogonina for Vesti.