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Mixed signals for China, India from Russia’s S-400 in Syria

Discussion in 'Indian Defence Industry' started by layman, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    Aside from all sorts of political considerations, Chinese and Indian strategic planners will have to assess carefully the strict military dimension of the missile strike that the United States launched against a government-controlled airbase in Syria early on Friday.

    China and India are both clients of Russia’s arms industry, and have bought a number of S-400 long-range air defense missile systems. The Kremlin is a historical ally of Damascus and deployed batteries of this advanced missile platform at the Khmeimim airbase near Latakia in western Syria after its intervention in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

    On paper, the S-400 system is designed to destroy aircraft, drones, and cruise and ballistic missiles up to 400 kilometers away; it is also equipped with a radar able to detect targets at a range of 600km. Since its installation in Syrian territory, the action of Western and Turkish warplanes in support of rebel forces has been limited.

    The presence of S-400 platforms in the Syrian theater possibly influenced the US strategy of attack against the Assad regime. The USS Porter and USS Ross, two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers stationed in the eastern Mediterranean, bombarded the Shayrat airbase in central Syria, which the Syrian Air Force used to launch suspected chemical attacks that left dozens of civilians dead in rebel-held Khan Shaykhun.

    Though the Pentagon informed the Russian military beforehand of the impending operation, the US military command decided to attack from a safe distance. Tomahawk missiles have a range of 1,600km and their use in place of strike aircraft was probably intended to minimize potential losses caused by the very fast and precise S-400 surface-to-air missiles.

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    This could mean that the Pentagon acknowledges the effectiveness of the S-400 against warplanes and the electronic jamming capabilities of the US EA-18G Growler jets, which can weaken the operability of the Russian air shield in Syria but not neutralize it completely.

    Thus the S-400’s deterrent function against aircraft sorties appears to be confirmed by the military option chosen by the United States to punish Assad. Chinese and Indian generals will be delighted with this outcome, which proves they have been right to bet on the S-400 system for their respective air defenses.

    In particular, Delhi can reasonably be confident it will manage to undercut Beijing’s airborne capacities so as to gain aerial strategic parity in the Himalayan region, where the two countries have long-standing border disputes.


    S-400’s vulnerability to swarm missile attacks
    On the other hand, the barrage of Tomahawks demonstrated the Pentagon’s capacity to perforate the Russian defenses in Syria, possibly showing the vulnerability of the S-400 to low-flying missiles with small radar cross-sections.

    The S-400 radar probably detected the Tomahawk swarm but the firing system apparently did not attempt to hit any missiles. It is now an open question whether Moscow’s military command in Syria deliberately opted not to engage the US missiles once informed of the imminent attack or, in contrast, was unable to react.

    The Russian camp obviously leans toward the first scenario. In Moscow’s view, the interception of US Tomahawks by the S-400 system would have provoked a dangerous escalation. The fact that, after the US strike, Moscow announced its intention to strengthen the Syrian air defenses, however, is a sign that the Russian defense shield in war-torn Syria needs some improvements.

    That said, all types of air defense systems, including the S-400, are still in large part untested as to whether they can resist multiple missile attacks. India and China should take that into account while focusing on the reinforcement of their own air and missile defenses. In this sense, the S-400’s mixed performance in Syria against the US Tomahawks should at least raise some doubt in Delhi and Beijing over the capabilities of this Russian arms system.

    Source
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
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  2. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Interesting news, now an open question whether Moscow’s military command in Syria deliberately opted not to engage the US missiles once informed of the imminent attack or, in contrast, was unable to react.
     
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  3. PARIKRAMA

    PARIKRAMA Angel or Devil? Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    Its a tricky question bcz
    1. What we dont know is what structure of S400 is there really? Is it a single batallion or a full fledged regiment?
    2. The structure will also detail the number of TELs and surrounding the TELs and other periphery the AD and CM systems
    3. If the number of missiles which hit targets is truly 23 as claimed by Russian sources than the number of other CMs taken out is considerably higher. How many of that is via S400 is again indeterminate.
    4. 23 passing through also implies the present structure deployed was saturated for sure and this implies for our security we need to look at that option closely and see how our deployment also has common areas to minimize such effects
    5. Logic also says if Russian side was informed than ideally they should detect all incomings but should not engage and have put the system to manual mode under command and control unit.
    6. Good news is that Aircraft deterrence means Air Space control as we have been saying for sometime is the positive outcome of this scenario.
    7. It confirms if beyond Delhi if we can deploy 3+ regiments in western borders, we might make PAF and all its aerial assets essentially a hangar queen..
    8. 59 CMs fired at once means swarm tactics would be used by our adversary as well so we need to get Brahmos Block 3/3+ with extended range in western borders as well to keep neutralization option ready
     
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  4. GuardianRED

    GuardianRED Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Q: Is the deployment of the S400 only for the protection of the Russian AF Aircrafts? Were any RuAF present at this airbase and any reports of this destroyed?. Also No current reports that the S400 were present at this base (current photos not dated)

    Lots of questions than answers
     
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  5. Indian Jatt

    Indian Jatt 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    @PARIKRAMA If you take a look at the base, it can have max to max 1 battalion, also i have spotted SAMs in set of 3 similar to akash.....have a look
    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.5022259,36.9169278,202m/data=!3m1!1e3
    also note that the launchers have been dug in the ground and secondary sams are kept around it to protect....the only place where the S400 can be ket is above mentioned place on the map....protected by 4 secondary sams ie 12 sams....
     
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  6. Indian Jatt

    Indian Jatt 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Google maps show 2017 picture of above mentioned base and what i have seen looks like a battalion of S400.....
    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.5022259,36.9169278,202m/data=!3m1!1e3
     
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  7. sangos

    sangos Lt. Colonel SENIOR MEMBER

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    Article is contradicts its headline....useless. As per general staff radar reports 2/3rd of US missiles missed. We do not know for sure if the S400's EW capabilities were responsible. Just the Pantsir S1 medium range SAMs would have been enough to dud the hawks. S400 is overkill.
     
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  8. Immanuel

    Immanuel 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Can't be more than a couple of battallions, secondly the system was probably put on offline mode for the attack. Trump told his friend Putin to chill out on this one. Putin wants to replace Assad as well he just can't say it out loud. Only way forward is to thrash ISIS and others while negotiating the peaceful exit of Assad. Someone new both agreeable to US and Russia will be placed.
     
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  9. Blue Marlin

    Blue Marlin 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    idiots think the s400 is the god of all missiles systems, thing is it depends on the job. objects 10000ft+ would be seen on the s400's radar and a salvo of missiles will be launched to intercept the hostile missile/object. missile systems such as morpheus/morfey, tor and panstir-s1. these are short range missiles which are designed to engage low altitude aircraft and missiles. they have a short range about 25km max which is because that how far the horizon goes(depending on the height

    cruise missiles fly at about 1000ft and as low as 30ft when near it target so the s400 engaging it is out of the question.

    the s400 is always accompanied by short range missiles as self defence thats it. now was the s400 or the any stand alone short range missile at the base that was attacked? most likely no. hence the attack
     
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  10. Indian Jatt

    Indian Jatt 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    i agree sir, but if you see google maps, their were 4 to 6 sams present around 2 trucks resembling Radar mounted truck and other 4-6 launchers dug inside ground....i have posted a link above....it seems like a panstir...
     
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  11. Blue Marlin

    Blue Marlin 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    looking at the casualties (6) it was not a major base i dont thing the s400 or the panstir was present. most likely anti air guns at most.
     
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  12. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    This satellite image released by the U.S. Department of Defense shows a damage assessment image of Shayrat air base in Syria, following U.S. Tomahawk Land Attack Missile strikes on Friday, April 7, 2017 from the USS Ross (DDG 71) and USS Porter (DDG 78), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers. The United States blasted the air base with a barrage of cruise missiles on Friday, April 7, 2017 in fiery retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians. (DigitalGlobe/U.S. Department of Defense via AP)


    On target: US claims 100 percent success as 59 missiles hit 59 targets at Syrian airfield

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    By Jamie McIntyre (@jamiejmcintyre) • 4/7/17 3:03 PM
    Jamie McIntyre Senior Writer The Washington Examiner http://s3.amazonaws.com/content.was...es/static/authors/Headshot-JamieMcintyre2.jpg

    The U.S. military claims it racked up a perfect score in its surprise cruise missile strike on a Syrian airfield, where the Pentagon says Bashar Assad was hiding chemical weapons, and from which a deadly poison gas attack was launched this week.

    Two senior military officials, who spoke anonymously to discuss details of the military mission, briefed reporters Friday.

    Pentagon planners had picked out 59 targets on the airfield, being careful to avoid Russian military helicopters and an estimated 12 to 100 troops who were also at the base.



    The Pentagon says the highly-accurate satellite guided missiles, launched from two ships in the Mediterranean sea, hit every target with pinpoint precision.

    It took launching 61 missiles total to put 59 on target. One missile failed, and another had to be aborted. In both cases another missile was launched to take its place.
    The Pentagon released imagery that shows hardened shelters were no match for the cruise missiles. Each of the targeted shelters had a hole in the top, and charred airplane wreckage scattered nearby.

    The U.S. is still doing a more complete assessment, but estimates 20 Syrian warplanes were destroyed either in bunkers or in the clear.

    In addition, a Russian-made surface-to-air missile site and its associated radar was destroyed, essentially rendering the airfield unprotected against a future attack, at least in the short term.
     
  13. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Doubt if any target is safe a against a swarm of low flying cruise missiles.
     
  14. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Satellite images show destruction of Assad’s air base as US says 58 of 59 Tomahawk missiles hit their target – but Russia insists more than half of them MISSED
    April 8, 2017latestnews


    These before and after satellite images show the damage to al-Shayrat military airfield which was hit by US cruise missiles on Thursday night.

    A US defence official said that 58 of the 59 missiles ‘severely degraded or destroyed’ their intended targets but Russian officials claimed that only 23 reached the base and the locations of the others were ‘unknown’.

    Pictures from ImageSat International show how the missiles destroyed aircraft, workshops, hangars and bunkers. Russian and Syrian troops were warned of the attack so they could evacuate some of their planes and soldiers.

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    ‹Slide me›
    Before and after: This image shows five aircraft workshops before and after the strike on Thursday at 3.45am local time

    After the strike: These satellite images show the damage to al-Shayrat military airfield which was hit by US cruise missiles on Thursday night

    Aircraft shelters: This image shows how the missiles struck aircraft shelters on Thursday night after Syrian troops were warned



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    [​IMG]
    ‹Slide me›
    Before and after: This image shows how three hangars were struck by the missiles. One (left) was destroyed but two (circled) remained intact

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    [​IMG]
    ‹Slide me›
    Before and after: This image shows a bunker was blown to smithereens by the strike which retaliated to Assad’s gas attack

    Observers said al-Sharyat Air Base was ‘almost completely destroyed’ by the 1,000lb warheads in a 30-minute barrage of destruction that is said to have destroyed 20 planes, a dozen aircraft hangars and a fuel depot, as well as ripped up runways, storage sites and radars.

    The missiles were launched from US destroyers 150 miles away in the Mediterranean Sea in response to Assad’s Sarin gas attack in Idlib on Tuesday, which killed 80 civilians, including children.

    Footage and photos from the ground Friday morning showed some of the aircraft shelters – which appear to be made of thick concrete, with feet of sand piled on top – partially or fully collapsed.

    Others had sunlight shining in through holes in their roofs, and black scorch marks on their walls.


    Destruction: These images show the extent of the destruction wrought on Syria’s al-Shayrat military airfield by US Tomahawk missiles on Thursday
     
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  15. mugundhan

    mugundhan FULL MEMBER

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    Why they need 59 missile for small air field?
     

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