The installation of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems in Turkey will begin in October 2019, state-owned Anadolu news agency on Thursday quoted Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar as saying. Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 systems, which are not compatible with NATO defenses, has unnerved the United States and NATO member countries, which are already wary of Russia’s presence in the Middle East.
India agreed a deal with Russia to buy S-400 surface to air missile systems on Friday, the two sides said, as New Delhi disregarded U.S. warnings that such a purchase could trigger sanctions under U.S. law. “The (two) sides welcomed the conclusion of the contract for the supply of S-400 long range surface to air missile system to India,” India and Russia said in a joint statement at the end of the talks.
The delivery of Russian S-300 units to Damascus, which was frozen over concerns by Tel Aviv, was ordered by President Putin in response to the accidental September 17 downing of the Il-20 reconnaissance plane with 15 servicemen on board by Syrian air-defense units during an Israeli raid. Watch the Russian S-300 launchers, interceptors & radars unloaded in Syria after Il-20 downing (VIDEO).
The Russian S-300 air defense system and dozens of additional hardware pieces have been delivered to the Syrian military to boost security of Russian personnel there, Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu, told President Vladimir Putin. “We have completed the delivery of the S-300 system,” Shoigu said. The hardware supplied to Syria consisted of 49 pieces of military equipment, including radars, control vehicles and four launchers, he added.
“The delivery has been started already. And as President [Vladimir] Putin said, after that incident […] the measures which we will take will be devoted to ensure 100 percent safety and security of our men in Syria,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a press conference following his speech at the UN General Assembly on Friday in New York.
“The tragedy occurred on September 17 following erroneous, unprofessional, and cowardly actions” by the Israeli military, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Italy’s Panorama magazine. Meanwhile, Vladimir Yevseyev, a Russian military expert, was quoted by Russia’s Interfax news agency as saying that the state-of-the-art S-300 system would effectively make it impossible for the Israeli air force to operate over Syria
S-300 and its follow-on systems are some of the most capable and dangerous air defenses an opposing air force could ever face. Not only are the missiles mobile, but the systems are networked together. One S-300 battery is a handful, but several such systems networked together into an integrated air defense system is a nearly insurmountable challenge for most fourth-generation fighters like the F-16 or F-15. The S-300 series is deadly. “A complete game changer for all fourth-gen aircraft [like the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18]. That thing is a beast and you don’t want to get near it.”
The Russian military will also supply better control systems to Syrian Air Defense Troops, “which are only supplied to the Russian Armed Forces,” defense chief Sergey Shoigu elaborated. Arguably, the most concerning thing for Israel will be the delivery to Syria of an S-300 anti-aircraft system, which will boost Syria’s capabilities to deny Israel access to its airspace.