Now we know a little more about which version from the S-300 family the Russians gave to the Syrians – the Russians reworked the S-300PM and S-300P-2 systems into the export version of S-300PMU-2 “Favorite”. By the way, Russia has delivered this version to the Iranians and the Chinese. This system uses a 48N6E2 rocket with an officially declared range of 195 km. I will omit the rest of the technical details and just say that this is a fresh modification with excellent characteristics. Thus, it has now become clear that all the rumors that Russia is supplying an outdated version of the S-300 turned out to be (as always) a lie. In fact, this is not the first time that the Russians have installed an “Israeli deterrent” air defense system – in 1983, the USSR delivered a certain number of S-200VE Vega-E systems (SA-5b) to Syria, which significantly limited Israeli operations over Syria and even near her (AWACS).
Combined with electronic warfare systems, also supplied by Russia, these air defense systems already have a clear impact on American and Israeli operations. And if the Americans admit that this is a problem for them, then the Israelis, as usual, complain about this delivery, and boast that they don’t care, adding that they will continue to bomb Syria at any moment when they feel the need. The Israelis even declared that they would like to kill Russian crews if Israeli aircraft were fired. But, of course, for now the Israelis are keeping out of Syrian airspace (and note that, according to Israeli sources, in 2017, the Israel Defense Forces attacked Syria more than 200 times, that is, one attack every second day!).
This time, the Israelis are not only confronted with a more competent air defense system, but also with a system that, moreover, is highly mobile and, therefore, more difficult to detect, which makes it very difficult to attack in the future. Moreover, since one battalion of S-300PMU-2 is able to accompany 300 targets (and simultaneously eliminate 36 targets with 72 missiles) at very long distances, the Syrians will now significantly strengthen their early warning capabilities. This will greatly reduce the ability of the Israelis to launch a surprise attack on Syria.
However, we can be quite sure that sooner or later both Israelis and Americans will try to strike again at Syria, even if only for PR reasons. In fact, it will not be very difficult for them. And that’s why.
First, and in contrast to what is often claimed, C-300 / C-400 installations in Syria are not enough to actually “close” Syrian airspace. Yes, the Russians did create a de facto “no-fly zone” over Syria, but not one that could withstand a major and targeted attack. What the Russian and Syrian armed forces have created together by joint efforts was to prohibit the Anglo-Zionist aggressors from accessing certain specific airspace over and around Syria. This means that they are able to protect some specific, highly valuable targets. However, as soon as the Americans / Israelis understand what is located and how this integrated air defense network works, they will be able to plan strikes again. These attacks, although they will not be extremely effective, but the propaganda machine will be able to present them as a major success of the Anglo-Zionists.
Secondly, anti-aircraft operations are always a game of numbers. Even if you proceed from the assumption that each of the anti-aircraft missiles hits a target with a probability of one (that is, each anti-aircraft missile will destroy one enemy missile), you cannot knock down more missiles than will allow you to make your cash reserves. The US / NATO / CENTCOM is able, if necessary, to launch many more missiles in the “saturation attack” than the defenders will have at their disposal. And in the foreseeable future this situation is unlikely to change.
Third, the US / NATO / Tsahal all have advanced electronic warfare capabilities that will give them the opportunity to try to minimize the effectiveness of Russian fire and reconnaissance capabilities, especially if aircraft with a small radar effective scattering surface are involved in the attack. These aircraft and similar missiles alone do not work. In fact, they operate with the targeted support of electronic warfare systems.
And finally, the Empire has long-range weapons, which are such as the American high-precision air-to-surface cruise missile (AGM-158 JASSM low-RCS standoff air-launched cruise missile) – can be used in striking Syria, especially in combination with the use of electronic warfare and anti-missile attack with rockets.
So, all that is in fact Anglo-Zionists it is necessary to do so very carefully when choosing the goals and routes of approaches to them, to use airplanes with a small scattering surface under the guise of actively working electronic warfare agents. And then – to use a sufficiently large number of missiles to create the impression that the Empire defeated the Russian and Syrian air defense systems. Judging by their past attacks on Syria, the Americans and Israelis are more concerned that they need to look very powerful, effective and quasi-vulnerable, rather than actually solving some significant military tasks. Of course, this need to look invulnerable also means that the Anglo-Zionists really cannot afford to have at least one of their aircraft shot down. Hence, their current reluctance to test the Syrian air defense. Sooner or later, however, the Israelis will have to try to “defeat the S-300 system” – as they themselves say.
The problem for the Israelis is that in fact there are no good options. This problem is not so much a technological one as a political one. Let’s assume that the Israelis are successfully striking a meaningful goal (if their attack is symbolic, the Russians and Syrians will be able to limit their response to ordinary protests and condemnations, but not real actions). What will Russia do? Well, the Russians (specifically, Shoigu) have already notified that, if necessary, they will increase the number of S-300 batteries supplied to Syria (and the necessary support systems). Thus, the main outcome of the alleged successful attack on Syria will be that further attacks will become increasingly difficult to plan and execute. Will this be for the Israelis the desired result? I don’t think. If every successful Israeli attack makes it more difficult for subsequent attacks, simultaneously raising the level of danger for Israeli aircraft, then what’s the point of such attacks? Are there, in general, in Syria truly valuable goals, the destruction of which by Tsahal would justify a further deterioration of the situation in Syria? And, on the other hand, if you were a Syrian (or Iranian), would you not want the Israelis to strike Syria (or even S-300 batteries), strong enough for the Russians to install even more air defense systems ( By the way, is not necessarily S-300)? Just as was the case with Hezbollah in Lebanon (which was facilitated by the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982) and with the coming to power of Hassan Nasrallah as head of Hezbollah (which resulted from the murder in 1992 year of Abbas al-Mousawi by the Israelis), the Israelis again and again open a truism for yourself that if in the short term the simple and brutal power of violence really seems to be effective, then in the medium and long term it is never such, unless it is supported by meaningful political measures. It is a perfect axiom that the Israelis are still stubbornly refusing to admit that any genuine security is always collective (something that Russians have been repeating all along for years). In the case of Syria, it would be much better for Israel if they were able to negotiate to reach some kind of deal with the Russians, Iranians and Syrians (albeit unofficially!) Than trying to gain the upper hand by blowing up targets in Syria.
I would even say that now that the Trump presidency is practically pushing the West to the brink of collapse, Israelis need to build a plan s on engaging new actors in their regional policy. The truth is that the United States is no longer able to remain a key player in Middle East politics. And this is after decades of humiliated subordination of the United States to the plans of the Likud party, which caused irreparable damage to trust in the United States and US influence in the Middle East (and in other parts of the world). I would compare the supply of S-300PMU-2 Favorit batteries to a chess debut or such an irreversible move, like castling – by itself, it does not decide the outcome of the game, but, in fact, it really creates a fundamental environment in which both players will have to conduct their operations. For the Russians, the next step is quite obvious – to continue supplying Syrians of all types of air defense systems (especially “Pantsir”), with the goal of ultimately being able to protect all Syrian airspace from attacks from the United States or Israel. The main elements of such a multi-layer air defense network have already been deployed; Syria now needs the same – only in large volumes. And I very much hope that Russia will deliver all this.