Information Warfare · Russia · Syria

Russia’s Vaunted S-400 Air Defense On Duty In Syria?

What I’m really waiting for is someone to tell us if the vaunted Russian S-400 system shot down ANY Tomahawks last night? Apparently it’s for show.

No mention of the S-400 on duty last night…   Sputnik?  Sputnik?  Sputnik? 

Oh, here’s what Sputnik had to say today.  Somebody, anybody, please explain to Sputnik what it means to step in deep doo-doo.  Your timing is terrible, the subject is abysmal, and you are way, way, way off target.

Okay, maybe that’s not fair. We told them in advance we were coming. Does that mean Russia did not defend their Syrian allies and sacrificed 20 Syrian jets, 10% of Syria’s total air power? In today’s Sputnik article, you call the S-400, the S-300, and the Pantsir air defense system “Air Defense”. That does include against Cruise Missiles, does it not?

Russia, you’ve got some ‘splaining to do. 

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14:29 07.04.2017 (updated 17:09 07.04.2017)

The Russian air defense combat units in Syria are on duty round-the-clock, the Defense Ministry said.

The S-400, the S-300 and the Pantsir air defense systems protect the Russian air group at the Hmeymim airfield from the air, the Russian ministry said.

“The Russian air defense system in the Syrian Arab Republic is aimed at protecting certain facilities and objects. The S-400, S-300 surface-to-air missile systems and the Pantsir-S1… complex provide solid protection to the Russian bases from the air,” ministry’s spokesman Ifor Konashenkov said.

He emphasized that the S-400 and Pantsir systems provide guaranteed protection to the Russian air group at the Hmeymim airfield, while another air defense group deployed in Syria consists of the S-300 and Pantsir systems is protecting the Russian Navy logistics center in Tartus.

“Combat calculations of the Russian air defense systems in the Syrian Arab Republic are on duty around the clock.”

Earlier in the day, the Russian Defense Ministry announced its plans to bolster and increase the effectiveness of the air defense system in Syria after the United States carried out attacks against a Syrian armed forces airfield.On Thursday night, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha’irat, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city of Homs. US President Donald Trump said the attack was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria’s Idlib on Tuesday, which Washington blames on the Syrian government.

Russia described the attack as an aggression against a sovereign state.

Following the US military action, Russia decided to suspend its memorandum of understanding on air safety over Syria with the United States, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.The S-400 system was deployed at the Hmeymim following the Turkish Air Force’s November 2015 downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber on the Syrian-Turkish border.

In October 2016, the Russian Defense Ministry said that a S-300 system was sent to Syria to ensure the safety of the Russian naval base in Tartus. According to media reports, the system deployed in Syria is S-300V4 — NATO designation SA-23 Gladiator — that is capable of striking tactical and strategic aircraft, medium-range ballistic missiles, tactical missiles as well as cruise missiles.

The S-400 Triumf Mobile Multiple Anti-Aircraft Missile System (AAMS)

The S-400 Triumf Mobile Multiple Anti-Aircraft Missile System (AAMS)



3 thoughts on “Russia’s Vaunted S-400 Air Defense On Duty In Syria?

  1. Syrian/Russian air defense was shut down. But, by who? Russia is in the market to sell is military hardware and air defense capability is a huge money maker. So, Russia shutting down it air defense on serves to show the rest of the world that Russia agreed to allow the attack. It means they knew ahead of time and rather lose their air defense, they shut down the systems as a sign to the U.S. that they will not impede U.S. strikes. But, this doesnt make sense, because this then shows that Russia would bend to the demands of the United States, which would look bad in front of existing and potential Mid-East customers and more specifically, Iran. So, either Russia is agreed to allow the attack, but shutting down the system OR, and is most likely the case, the air defense system did not work. And it most likely did not work because the U.S. (most likely Israel) were able to remotely shutdown the air defense. This is likely the case given past Israeli attacks on various targets in Syria. Each time, air defenses were shut down and Israel has been able to target just about anywhere in Syria with impunity. So, it makes sense the U.S. probably did something similar. Check out the links below:


    Russia has to say that they shutdown their air-defense. Because, the alternative is the admit that they did not work. Either because they are ineffective against Tomahawks, the air-defense was shutdown via cyber by the U.S./Israel (most likely) or the system simply does not work (unlikely). Again, Russia would be red-faced at signs of its money-maker air-defense did not work against American aggression. This is huge, because Iran purchased similar air-defense systems that was deployed around the base hit by Tomahawks. If the Russian air-defense system did not work in Syria, what are the chances that they will work in Iran, or anywhere else?

    Welcome to cyber-warfare….

    1. I believe there is a zero chance of cyber being involved, being a former cyber warfare guy. It does not fit the operational parameters for the use of cyber, not at all. Once one specific cyber tool/weapon would be used against any of their air defense systems, it is compromised and cannot be used again. The gain/loss discussion would expose the lack of return on the use. All the exploits against the Russian air defense systems are being saved for better targets in a more dangerous situation.

      I used a map on another blog about this, and if you look at the airfield, it falls right into the seam between the S-300 and the Pantsir systems coverage. The S-400 had coverage… but is capable of only handling 10 at a time (I forget if it’s 10 or 15, actually).

      No, it was a deliberate decision by the Russians not to engage. Too many cruise missiles would have hit their target, making whatever system to be overwhelmed.

      The phone call to the Russian military authorities went something like this. “We are going to strike Shayrat Airfield at 00:15 GMT tonight. You are going to shut down your air defense systems at 23:30. We will launch at 23:45. If you do not comply, we will strike two airfields. You will not tell the Syrians. You will evacuate all Russian personnel but leave all equipment in place. Your President has been warned. You will receive a call through your Chain of Command confirming the stand-down order.”

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