Analysis Terrorist groups in Syria have no sophisticated air defense systems 10704162

The conflict in Syria
 
Analysis : Terrorist groups in Syria have no sophisticated air defense systems.
The terrorist groups operating in Syria have no sophisticated air defenses, Russian military experts believe. Now, the terrorists in Syria can use DShK and KPVT heavy machineguns in the form of ZPU-2 anti-aircraft guns, 23-mm automatic guns in the form of ZU-23-2s and Stinger man-portable air defense missile systems (MANPADS). The terrorists are said to have gotten MANPADS (Man-portable air-defense systems) of the type.
     
The terrorist groups operating in Syria have no sophisticated air defenses, Russian military experts believe. Now, the terrorists in Syria can use DShK and KPVT heavy machineguns in the form of ZPU-2 antiaircraft guns, 23-mm automatic guns in the form of ZU-23-2s and Stinger man-portable air defense missile systems (MANPADS). The terrorists are said to have gotten MANPADS of the type. ISIS fighter fires with Russian-made DShK 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun
     
In any case, the recent shoot-down of a Syrian Air Force Sukhoi Su-22 (NATO reporting name: Fitter) fighter-bomber near Aleppo testifies to that.

In addition, helicopters flying nap-of-the-earth can be hit by small arms fire and rocket launchers, which had repeatedly happened during the two latest Chechen campaigns. The helicopter is the most vulnerable aircraft to enemy firearms and other air defense (AD) weapons.

The accurate range of the DShK against aerial targets is 2,400 m (1,500 m in altitude). A bullet fired by the DShK punches through a high-strength steel armor plate 15 mm thick at 500 m.

The ZPU-2, or a 14.5-mm twin AA machinegun system, is designed to deal with aerial threats at an altitude up to 2,000 m. It is a very effective means against helicopters.

The ZU-23-2 is a 23-mm twin-barrel AA gun with a rate of fire standing at 2,000 rd/min. It kills aircraft at a range of 2,500 m and an altitude of 1,500 m.

The Stinger AD missile is effective against aircraft out to 4,800 m and at an altitude of 3,800 m.
     
     
The best and simplest counter to these AD weapons is for aircraft to keep outside of their range at safe altitude. During the armed conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, US and NATO planes would bomb the enemy from at least 10,000-10,000 m high and, as a rule, at night to make medium-caliber AA guns utterly ineffective. Medium-range surface-to-air missile systems would be suppressed by massive electronic warfare efforts.

At the same time, the situation may require attacking the enemy from much lower altitudes. This mostly applies to ground attack aircraft and attack helicopters. In such a case, the risk of being hit by heavy AA machineguns or small-caliber AA guns increases sharply.

However, the situation in Syria may change radically, if the terrorists somehow obtain close-in or short-range SAM systems, e.g. the Roland. It is a Franco-German SAM system capable of shooting down aircraft travelling within the 15-5,500-m altitude bracket at a range of 500-6,300 m.

The situation in Syria skies will deteriorate catastrophically, if the terrorists lay their hands on at least one medium-range AD system similar to the Russian-made Buk-M2E (SA-17 Grizzly). In such a case, the probability of being downed will spike for all types of rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft.

For now, the only effective way for warplanes and combat helicopter to dodge the terrorists’ AA fire is to keep at standoff range.
     
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