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Russia’s S-300 vs. Israel’s new F-35 in Syria: Who wins in a shootout?

Russia has delivered the formidable S-300 air and missile defense system to Syria.

However, it will still take several months for Syrian crews to learn how to operate the sophisticated air defense system under Russian tutelage. In the meantime, the weapons are almost certainly going to be operated by Russian military advisors.

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The presence of Russian forces means that Tel Aviv might be temporarily constrained against striking at those S-300 missile batteries, if it were so inclined. But in strictly military terms, the presence of those weapons does not necessarily limit Israel’s ability to do so. Israel’s new fleet of stealthy Lockheed Martin F-35I Adir versions of the Joint Strike Fighter afford Tel Aviv the ability to defeat the S-300 with relative ease.

“The operational abilities of the air force are such that those (S-300) batteries really do not constrain the air force’s abilities to act,” Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel’s regional cooperation minister, told Israel’s Army Radio reports the Reuters news agency . “You know that we have stealth fighters, the best planes in the world. These batteries are not even able to detect them.”

One of the F-35’s primary missions from its very inception has been the suppression (SEAD) and destruction (DEAD) of advanced enemy air defenses such as the S-300. Indeed, the F-35 will only become more formidable in the SEAD/DEAD role as time goes on and the aircraft is upgraded with the full operational capability Block 3F and subsequent Block 4 software and hardware configurations. Tel Aviv declared its F-35soperational in December 2017  and recently signed an agreement in February with Lockheed Martin to incorporate Israeli specific modifications to bring its planned 50-aircraft fleet to a Block 3F+ configuration by December 2021.

Even without the full Block 3F capability immediately available, Tel Aviv’s F-35 fleet would offer the Israel Defense Force a potent capability to strike against Syria’s newly acquired S-300s, certainly a better capability than offered by any conventional fighter. However, there is little prospect that Israel would attack those batteries while the Russian still more or less have those weapons under their direct control.

According to the Russians, it will take roughly three months for them to train Syrian S-300 air defense crews. “We have finished personnel recruitment and have begun to train them,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday according to the TASS news agency.

Shoigu also officially confirmed that the Russians have delivered the S-300 to Syria. “In conformity with the presidential decision, we have begun to carry out a number of measures to reinforce Syria’s air defense systems in order to ensure better protection for our servicemen,” Shoigu said. “We have completed the delivery of S-300 systems. It included 49 pieces of equipment, including radars, control vehicles and four launchers.”

While the Syrian forces are being trained, Russian forces are likely to retain control of the S-300s and operate those weapons under their direct supervision. Such an arrangement should prevent any rash actions by Syrian forces and also put a brake on any Israeli plans to strike at the missile batteries.

However, the Israelis might consider eliminating those S-300 batteries if the Russian do in fact hand them over to Syrian control. That is not a foregone conclusion given that it was Assad’s poorly trained and motivated air defense crews who shot down the Russian Il-20M Coot intelligence-gathering aircraft on September 18 , sparking the current tensions in the first place.

The presence of additional Russian-made S-300 batteries in Syria complicates matters for both the United States and Israel. Washington decried the Russian move as escalatory. “I’m certainly not going to comment on our intention on how we will address that, but my comments before were true,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Oct. 3 .

Via The National Interest

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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Bob Valdez
Bob Valdez
October 8, 2018

Oh, please. f35’s are NOT invisible, Russian multi-band radar easily “sees” so-called “stealth” aircraft. The author over-rates the f35 as able to “kill S300’s”. If S200’s can bring down the f35, S300’s will have no problem.

Tom Welsh
Tom Welsh
Reply to  Bob Valdez
October 8, 2018

As Major-General Konashenkov warned two years ago, “… all the illusions of amateurs about the existence of ‘invisible’ jets will face a disappointing reality”.

https://yournewswire.com/wo

Nexus789
Nexus789
Reply to  Bob Valdez
October 9, 2018

Good point. What people don’t realize is that the Jolly Stupid Fighter is an old plane. It’s so called stealth profile was based on defeating late 90’s radar technology. So while the airframe remains static radar technology has developed considerably.

JNDillard
JNDillard
October 8, 2018

Ha ha ha ha! This reads like it was written by the sales promotion team for a combination of the F-35 and “Buy Israeli Bonds!” Ha ha ha ha ha! This article is for dolts who know nothing. For a review of the capabilities of each side worth reading, Go here, and also read some of the accompanying posts, a few of which are quite good and detailed: http://thesaker.is/s-300s-and-other-military-hardware-for-syria/

bsamsin
bsamsin
Reply to  JNDillard
October 8, 2018

It’s no wonder, since majumdar pimps for the National Interest, which was co-founded by Ashkenazi/American “godfather of the NeoCon movement” Irving Kristol, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, Irving was also the daddy of Bill Kristol, who co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which enable USreal to begin their non-stop “war against terror” fraud.

Donna
Donna
October 8, 2018

The world needs to remember that it is Israel, not Syria, who is starting this illegal and inhumane war. And, true to form, the Israelis are kicking Syria while it’s down — while it is attempting to recover from a devastating war against terrorists. What Israel is doing is a naked act of aggression, and if the hypocritical US wasn’t blocking every measure in the Security Council, perhaps the UN could put a stop to this violation of international law. And no one is fooled by Israel’s claim that it’s bombing Syria to stop Iran. Israel is bombing Syria because… Read more »

Dr. George W. Oprisko
October 8, 2018

The F-22 & F-35 are optimized for X band radar, which is commonly used in aircraft and missile targeting systems. The S-300 family use longer wavelengths which detect such aircraft at long ranges, ditto for the supporting AAA systems which accompany and protect the S-300 batteries, such as the Pantsyr. This piece is propagandistic fluff. Also, were the Israelis bold enough to mount the attack, counter fire from SAA, IRGC, RuAF, or Hezbollah, could target the base from which the attack was mounted and/or to which the aircraft intended to return, at any level from simply cratering the runway, to… Read more »

Normski1
Normski1
Reply to  Dr. George W. Oprisko
October 8, 2018

Just like their US friends, I don’t think the Israeli’s have the capacity to think things through properly!.

pogohere
pogohere
Reply to  Dr. George W. Oprisko
October 8, 2018

See: Comment #43: (very detailed, links to open source US mil docs)

“The idea of ‘stealth’ aircraft is in fact mostly a gimmick designed to enrich the military contractors…it doesn’t actually work very well at all, as proved in 1999 when the Serb air defense, using ancient Soviet surface to air missiles of 1950s vintage, shot down the USAF F117 aircraft…and damaged another that was then written off, and therefore counts as a kill…”

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/s-300s-and-other-military-hardware-for-syria/#comment-2558132

Normski1
Normski1
October 8, 2018

All the Syrian military require to see these “stealth” F-35 “wonder aircraft” are a decent pair of binoculars!. There’s no substitute for the “mark 1” eyeball!.

am hants
am hants
October 8, 2018

British troops also recently held their biggest military exercise in 10 years, which included six navy ships and more than 5,000 troops in the Omani desert, to prepare for a confrontation with unconventional Russian forces like those used in Crimea. Cyber weapons are seen as a potential deterrent and a way to avoid a direct military confrontation… Russia held an exercise with 300,000 Forces (the UK has only around 125,000 serving military personnel). 36,000 land vehicles, including tanks and air defence systems. 1,000 military aircrafts, plus, 80 ships and submarines. 15 October 2018 there is an OPCW meeting, where those… Read more »

am hants
am hants
Reply to  am hants
October 8, 2018

Sorry, this reply, relates to:

LATEST RUSSIAFEED NEWSBritain prepares for WAR with Russia in cyber attack drills
Sabre-rattling by Great Britain continues to vilify and demonize Russia without proof or cause while evading any attempts at resolution…

bsamsin
bsamsin
Reply to  am hants
October 9, 2018

drool, Brittania, the mighty Empire is growing senile 🙂

bsamsin
bsamsin
Reply to  am hants
October 9, 2018

now, that’s all well and good, but the more important question in this modern era, is “what will their dress code be?”
I’m just curious, since your British institutions have greatly confused me during the course of this year, what with some curious mandates ????

1) a British school made shorts illegal, but skirts mandatory for boys?
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-04/uk-secondary-school-forces-boys-soccer-team-wear-skirts-instead-shorts

2) and then, some British schools, made skirts illegal for girls !!!
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-03/uk-secondary-schools-ban-skirts-accommodate-trans-students

Pray tell … what the heck is going on in the land of the stiff upper lip?

Mike
Mike
October 9, 2018

Common on Israel, test the skies.

Klink
Klink
October 9, 2018

If the Jews were to attack the S300’s the targets for the Russians are unlimited.
The jews submarines for example, the US took one out after the Jews attacked the USS Liberty any killed scores of Americans…

Thraxite
Thraxite
October 9, 2018

This Author does not seem to have done much homework on the actual characteristics of the aircraft vs the S-300. The F-35 is no better than other legacy craft when attempting to penetrate the actively phased array radar which is equivalent to the Aegis system that has to fit on a destroyer for the West. This technical report on the abilities of the S-300 is well worth the read.

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Grumble-Gargoyle.html

ruca
ruca
Reply to  Thraxite
October 9, 2018

You are correct sir. And yes ausairpower.net is quite a good site.

evald
evald
October 9, 2018

Dave Majumdar and “National Interest” … are you serious?

Richard Steven Hack
Richard Steven Hack
October 9, 2018

As usual, The National Interest overrates the F-35. People forget that not only does Russia has the S-300, they also have the S-400 at its base with more advanced radars as well as surveillance planes that can see all of Israel’s airfields. All of this is tied into the Syrian air defense network. As for the poorly trained and motivated Syrian operators, they had the Israeli F-16’s in their sights and only when those F-16’s hid behind the Russian surveillance prop plane did they evade the S-200 – and that only because the S-200 didn’t have the IFF “friend or… Read more »

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