S400 in Syria - How to distinguish planes?

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element1loop

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Unread post04 Jan 2016, 06:24

tincansailor wrote:"... It seems one of three things are in play. Russia is only using the S-400 to protect their own forces or they have a deal with Israel not to engage their forces. ..."


Just to insert also that although the coalition is operating with little changes in effects, it will not be as prior:

The active coalition members:
US DOD Site wrote:"In Syria: (1) Australia, (2) Bahrain, (3) Canada, (4) France, (5) Jordan, (6) Saudi Arabia, (7) Turkey (8) UAE and (9) UK"
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tincansailor

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Unread post04 Jan 2016, 10:22

element1loop wrote:
tincansailor wrote:"... It seems one of three things are in play. Russia is only using the S-400 to protect their own forces or they have a deal with Israel not to engage their forces. ..."


Just to insert also that although the coalition is operating with little changes in effects, it will not be as prior:

The active coalition members:
US DOD Site wrote:"In Syria: (1) Australia, (2) Bahrain, (3) Canada, (4) France, (5) Jordan, (6) Saudi Arabia, (7) Turkey (8) UAE and (9) UK"


Yes there still is a coalition but it's falling apart. On the up side the U.S. is stepping up it's bombing, the French are out for blood, and Russia is hitting ISIS every now and then. On the down side Canada has withdraw, Jordan is out of fuel & ammo, the Saudi's, Bahrain, and the UAE have turned their main attention to the air war over Yemen. Now with the situation between Saudi Arabia and Iran getting hotter those Gulf coalition partners must be looking north to Iran, not west toward Syria. Turkey is not attacking ISIS, but they are fighting the Kurds.

So that leaves the U.S., Australia, France, the UK, and every now and then Russia. Sounds like the plot for a new TV show 4 1/2 air forces. It's a comedy about 4 brothers separated at birth and sent to live in America, France, Australia, and the UK. By coincidence each of them become air force officers in their respective countries. One day they all meet while on detached duty to the USAF. They move in together in a rented house. 3 brothers are swinging bachelors, while the 4th guy is divorced from his Russian wife, and is raising his son.

The single brothers help raise the boy who's a tough Russian nationalist with posters of Putin on his bedroom wall. They try to teach him the rightness of fighting for freedom, while protecting him from their wild partying. The boy comes to love his father and uncles but he still calls them all Western Imperialists getting big laughs from the audience. Whenever the brothers talk about the war on ISIS the boy reminds them that "All the anti Assad rebels are terrorists." The audience loves those lines.

The American Pilot flies an F-35A, while the Brit flies a Eurofighter, the Frenchman brings a Rafale, and the Australian flies an F-18G, his backset driver is a hot blond. Between laughs, and hot girls the 4 of them engage in a lot of dissimilar air combat. The boy longs for the day when he'll get to go up against his father and uncles in an SU-50 stealth fighter, and prove the superiority of the aircraft of the Russian Motherland. Yes aviation comedy, and coalition warfare, the wave of the future. But I digress.
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element1loop

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Unread post04 Jan 2016, 11:21

tincansailor wrote:Yes there still is a coalition but it's falling apart. On the up side the U.S. is stepping up it's bombing, the French are out for blood, and Russia is hitting ISIS every now and then. On the down side Canada has withdraw, Jordan is out of fuel & ammo, the Saudi's, Bahrain, and the UAE have turned their main attention to the air war over Yemen. Now with the situation between Saudi Arabia and Iran getting hotter those Gulf coalition partners must be looking north to Iran, not west toward Syria. Turkey is not attacking ISIS, but they are fighting the Kurds.


Thanks for the analysis. Hadn't thought of it like that. :D
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tincansailor

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Unread post05 Jan 2016, 05:32

element1loop wrote:
tincansailor wrote:Yes there still is a coalition but it's falling apart. On the up side the U.S. is stepping up it's bombing, the French are out for blood, and Russia is hitting ISIS every now and then. On the down side Canada has withdraw, Jordan is out of fuel & ammo, the Saudi's, Bahrain, and the UAE have turned their main attention to the air war over Yemen. Now with the situation between Saudi Arabia and Iran getting hotter those Gulf coalition partners must be looking north to Iran, not west toward Syria. Turkey is not attacking ISIS, but they are fighting the Kurds.


Thanks for the analysis. Hadn't thought of it like that. :D


Thank you sir. But would you watch the TV show?
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Unread post25 Jan 2016, 01:06

tincansailor wrote:I find it interesting that Israel was able to bomb a Damascus suburb to kill a Hezbollah leader, along with 8 other terrorists despite the presence of the S-400 System in Syria. It seems one of three things are in play. Russia is only using the S-400 to protect their own forces or they have a deal with Israel not to engage their forces. The third possibility is that Israel has a technical means to defeat the S-400.

So the question is did the Russians try to engage the Israelis or not? If the Russian S-400 is defending their forces around Latakia they may not have a launcher within a hundred miles of Damascus. Can they engage from that kind of distance? They claim they can. Since the earth is not flat I have my doubts. Any thoughts from the many on the board in the know on radar, and SAM's. Does the S-400 have the range, and lethality that Russia claims?


In December a Russian SU-24 strayed into Israeli airspace, it was ordered to turn around by the IAF, it did without incident. The Israelis and Russians have met to ensure there are no "issues" between Israeli and Russian forces and Israel has been flying into Syrian airspace seemingly at will,so yes, they have some sort of "understanding" for me.
Russia is defending Russian forces, they are not policing Syrian airspace for Assad or for the Syrian military that much is clear.
To me politically Putin is totally unconcerned with any Israeli actions against terrorist targets in Syria as long as they do not interfere with Russia's plans, Putin wants to be friends with the West, shooting down Israeli aircraft isn't on the agenda.
In one hit the IAF supposedly used Spice 2000 missiles launched from inside Israeli airspace all the way to Damascus , in other sorties they flew right into Northern Syria.
Its worth remembering that the Syrian air defence system has been pretty quiet ever since the Coalition started Ops there, they are stood down as far as I am concerned.
My first thoughts were the S-400 is not a threat because that is the way Putin wants it and this hasn't changed.
Assad must be pissed but he is in NO position to cajole Putin.
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Unread post25 Jan 2016, 01:19

I am no SAM system expert but.....The S-400 system seems very capable but some of the internet claims I have seen look a bit far fetched, for example it has a 400 KM "footprint" but shooting down fighters at 400 KMs ?? Not unless their missiles can IFR lol
I read an interesting article from the manufacturers of the S-400, they said the Israelis will probably have lots of ways of countering their system because anything is possible as does the US. Didn't Obama also state the US Mil can counter the system if needed?
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Unread post27 Jan 2016, 08:51

snypa777 wrote:I am no SAM system expert but.....The S-400 system seems very capable but some of the internet claims I have seen look a bit far fetched, for example it has a 400 KM "footprint" but shooting down fighters at 400 KMs ?? Not unless their missiles can IFR lol
I read an interesting article from the manufacturers of the S-400, they said the Israelis will probably have lots of ways of countering their system because anything is possible as does the US. Didn't Obama also state the US Mil can counter the system if needed?


Russia does have a history of making extravagant claims about it's military capabilities. It does seem fantastic that they could shoot down fighters 400 km away. I don't remember hearing Obama say we could defeat the S-400. The Chairman of the JCS has said we could hit the Iranian Nuclear Sites even if they were defended by the S-300 System. I guess if we feel we could defeat the S-300 then we could defeat the S-400. That's not to say we might suffer losses doing so.

The F-35 is the best bet we have to do that with minimal losses. With current aircraft risks are higher. Still if we had to do it I have little doubt we could do it. Do people on the board think Israel, with Arab support do it? I tend to think they could do it, but with risks. What do those with more technical information of the subject think? It seems we have a lot of unknowns, on both sides.
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Unread post27 Jan 2016, 10:20

snypa777 wrote:I am no SAM system expert but.....The S-400 system seems very capable but some of the internet claims I have seen look a bit far fetched, for example it has a 400 KM "footprint" but shooting down fighters at 400 KMs ?? Not unless their missiles can IFR lol


Every SAM has maximum range and then effective range against different types of targets. Usually the range against fighter targets is less than half the maximum range. Max range is always against non-maneuvering and slow target where the missile can use optimum flight profile and does not need to maneuver much as maneuvering will eat energy and thus range pretty quickly. Of course even fighter target could theoretically be engaged at near max range if it flies straight and level and doesn't maneuver at all during the intercept, not even final stages. Not very likely anywhere near war zone.
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Unread post28 Jan 2016, 14:07

hornetfinn wrote:
snypa777 wrote:I am no SAM system expert but.....The S-400 system seems very capable but some of the internet claims I have seen look a bit far fetched, for example it has a 400 KM "footprint" but shooting down fighters at 400 KMs ?? Not unless their missiles can IFR lol


Every SAM has maximum range and then effective range against different types of targets. Usually the range against fighter targets is less than half the maximum range. Max range is always against non-maneuvering and slow target where the missile can use optimum flight profile and does not need to maneuver much as maneuvering will eat energy and thus range pretty quickly. Of course even fighter target could theoretically be engaged at near max range if it flies straight and level and doesn't maneuver at all during the intercept, not even final stages. Not very likely anywhere near war zone.

I always see missile engagement zones portrayed as a half bubble, so, that 400 KM range is on the ground and diminishes with altitude the closer it gets closer to the SAM battery.In any case, the real long range super duper missiles are only carried in tiny numbers because they are heavy and very expensive, I guess you could bleed these out using fancy decoys.
If the system can use cueing from different sensors it will be much more dangerous.
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Unread post28 Jan 2016, 14:44

snypa777 wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:
snypa777 wrote:I am no SAM system expert but.....The S-400 system seems very capable but some of the internet claims I have seen look a bit far fetched, for example it has a 400 KM "footprint" but shooting down fighters at 400 KMs ?? Not unless their missiles can IFR lol


Every SAM has maximum range and then effective range against different types of targets. Usually the range against fighter targets is less than half the maximum range. Max range is always against non-maneuvering and slow target where the missile can use optimum flight profile and does not need to maneuver much as maneuvering will eat energy and thus range pretty quickly. Of course even fighter target could theoretically be engaged at near max range if it flies straight and level and doesn't maneuver at all during the intercept, not even final stages. Not very likely anywhere near war zone.

I always see missile engagement zones portrayed as a half bubble, so, that 400 KM range is on the ground and diminishes with altitude the closer it gets closer to the SAM battery.In any case, the real long range super duper missiles are only carried in tiny numbers because they are heavy and very expensive, I guess you could bleed these out using fancy decoys.
If the system can use cueing from different sensors it will be much more dangerous.


Usually the max range is achieved at the point where target is just above radar horizon. At 400 kms the radar horizon is at about 10,000m. Any target below radar horizon is pretty much safe as it would require external cueing and very good networks and systems to attack targets below it. I don't think any current system is capable of doing that although US Navy probably will have the capability in the near future with E-2D aircraft and SM-6 missiles.

You are right that such missiles are very expensive, heavy and would not be wasted unless very juicy target emerges.
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Unread post02 Feb 2016, 22:26

hornetfinn wrote:Usually the max range is achieved at the point where target is just above radar horizon. At 400 kms the radar horizon is at about 10,000m. Any target below radar horizon is pretty much safe as it would require external cueing and very good networks and systems to attack targets below it. I don't think any current system is capable of doing that although US Navy probably will have the capability in the near future with E-2D aircraft and SM-6 missiles.

You are right that such missiles are very expensive, heavy and would not be wasted unless very juicy target emerges.


Interesting. Do you think those really long range missiles would be preserved for AWACS type targets?
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