Russian S 300PM air defence systems and missiles donated to Syria
On 1st October, following the tragic loss of a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 last 24 September over the Mediterranean, Russia supplied Syria with three battalion sets of S-300PM air defense systems and twenty-four missile launchers in total, eight launchers for each system, as well as more than 100 surface-to-air guided missiles for each battalion, as reported by BulgarianMilitary.com.
S-300PM air defense systems donated by Russia to Syria on 1 October 2018 (Picture source: Twitter)
The Syrian army used the outdated S-200 missiles to respond to the Israeli attack of 24 September. The systems, originally developed by the Soviet Union in the 1960s, have no capability to distinguish between friendly and hostile targets. However, Russian bases in Syria are already protected by the latest S-400 systems, as well as S-300 also operated by Russian troops.
The S-300PM systems offered on 1st October to Syria are free of charge, having already been deployed by one of the regiments of the Russian Aerospace Forces now converted to S-400 Triumph. Following a statement of the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made on 2 October, Russia additionally donated to Syria forty-nine pieces of military equipment as part of the S-300 supply, aiming to support the Russian task force security there. This additional delivery included radars, control vehicles and four launchers. Training wills also be provided to the Syrian operators of these donated S-300PM systems.
The modernized version of the Soviet-era system is capable of intercepting aerial attacks at the distance of over 250 kilometers and simultaneously countering several targets. By delivering a revamped version of the more modern S-300 defense system, Russia seeks to reduce the risk of a similar friendly-fire incident. Moscow will also equip Syria's anti-aircraft command centers with high-tech systems to improve coordination and monitoring. According to Shoigu, hostile aircraft will also face electronic interference above parts of the Mediterranean in Syrian airspace.