S-300 VS. TLAM

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tincansailor

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Unread post09 Apr 2017, 01:20

Once again Syria has been struck, this time by TLAMs and the vaunted S-300 has stood ideally by. We're being told that the S-300 systems could have easily shoot down the TLAMs but the system was just shut off. We're further being told that Russia is now upgrading Syria's air defenses. What's the point if their just going to shut the system down every time they get attacked?

It kind of makes me wonder if their just afraid that if they tried to intercept an attack most attempts would fail. After that it would be hard for an S-300 salesmen to earn his commissions. Even with 30-60 minutes warning, and knowing the direction the attack would be coming from they still didn't even try, What are the Russians and Syrians thinking?
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popcorn

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Unread post09 Apr 2017, 01:29

Political maskirova? Tough action and tough talk. Let's see how the Tillerson visit works out. May be scenes in some elaborate Kabuki play, who knows?
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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weasel1962

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Unread post09 Apr 2017, 02:09

Even if the s-300 takes down a few tlams so what? Its still not going to prevent the rest from hitting. No point.
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mikemag

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Unread post09 Apr 2017, 02:21

weasel1962 wrote:Even if the s-300 takes down a few tlams so what? Its still not going to prevent the rest from hitting. No point.


That's the spirit! :lmao:
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arian

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Unread post09 Apr 2017, 11:58

Didn't you hear? Only 23 of the Yankee Imperialist Dog missiles reached their targets. The rest fell to Rossia Plasma GPS Jammers. No damage done at all!!!!!!!!!!!

In all seriousness though, we're not sure the Russians actually deployed any S-300s in Tartus or not. They might just be BS-ing. In either case, we're going to need to see some satellite photos of their S-300 installation in Tartus, and so far none have appeared.

There are several of the modernized mobile Pechora-2M sites on the path the cruise missiles followed, however. Right on top of the supposed path there are at least 2 Pechora-2M sites and at least 1 Sa-2 site, within 5-10km of where the missiles should have flown. As well as at least 2-3 Sa-6 sites around the base itself.

In either case, Tartus is about 25-30km away, and the terrain is mountainous so it wouldn't be much of a surprise if even S-300s were there and operational, they could never have seen the missiles coming.
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mixelflick

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Unread post09 Apr 2017, 16:39

S-300 is invincible. And if that fails, they have the S-400. And if that fails, the S-500 is coming soon to a theater near you!

Get it? :D
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hythelday

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Unread post09 Apr 2017, 17:51

More importantly Pantsir, which was explicitly designed to protect HPT like S-300/400 and is advirtesed by Russians as capable of shooting down "stealthy PGMs", was also apparently ractically shut-off just in case.
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arian

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Unread post10 Apr 2017, 01:28

There are apparently at least 6 SAM sites the cruise missiles flew in close proximity to, in addition to the 2-3 protecting the base. There are 2 Pechora-2M, 1 Sa-2, 2 Sa-3 and 1 Sa-5 site within 5-10km of the flight path the missiles followed. In addition right nearby there is an early-warning radar site with at least 3 early-warning radars (1 P-14 and 2 P-80, along with 4 height-finder radars).

At least the ones I was able to find, but there may be more.

It's amazing just how useless pretty much all the older generation radars and SAM sites are in such a scenario.
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popcorn

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Unread post11 Apr 2017, 08:54

Some folks aren't too happy with the vaunted Russian SAMs.


http://www.defencetalk.com/after-u-s-st ... ems-69690/


After U.S. Strikes Syrian Air Base, Russians Ask: ‘Where Were our Vaunted Air Defense Systems?’

In confirming the deployment of its S-300 and state-of-the art S-400 missile-defense systems in Syria, the Kremlin boasted six months ago that it had secured the country’s air bases from American cruise missiles.

But after a barrage of U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles hit the Syrian government air base at Shayrat on April 7, where some Russian military personnel were stationed, consternated Russians took to social networks asking: “Where the hell were the vaunted S-400s?”
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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han9

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Unread post11 Apr 2017, 11:21

The Russians are not going to engage US assets unless directly attacked by which time it will be too late anyway. BTW numerous Tomahawk missiles were shot down in previous conflicts starting with DS. If you are curious just ask Tom Cooper he has plenty of info on that - hint arguably the most effective means were not SAMs but point defense weapons such as rapid fire AA guns. Which does not change the fact that this time the SyAFF was hammered pretty badly with nothing to show for it.

Anyway, since Eastern is coming: HAPPY EASTERN to all!
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laos

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Unread post11 Apr 2017, 15:12

arian wrote:There are apparently at least 6 SAM sites the cruise missiles flew in close proximity to, in addition to the 2-3 protecting the base. There are 2 Pechora-2M, 1 Sa-2, 2 Sa-3 and 1 Sa-5 site within 5-10km of the flight path the missiles followed. In addition right nearby there is an early-warning radar site with at least 3 early-warning radars (1 P-14 and 2 P-80, along with 4 height-finder radars). .


Neither SA-2 nor SA-5 have a capability to engage such low flying targets as Tomahawk. Mostly due to minimal altitude and minimal range but also due to tracking capability of their fire control system and radar. For SA-3 and Pechora theoretically could engage but the crew would have to act very skilfully and quickly. There are in this case a question of positive identification. The SAM crew having low flying target approaching airfield and knowing that opposing force does not have air force (FSA, ISIS) might guess that the most likely scenario is that it's own fighter coming back with malfunction in IFF. Seeing the state of fighters the Syrian Air Force is flying and taking into account shortages of pilots, equipment, spare parts, mechanics and 40 years old fighters I guess is normal that they fly without IFF.

It seems that the only SAMs on site capable of defending Syrian airfields against the Tomahawks are manpads, ZSU-23-4, SA-15 and SA-22.
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arian

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Unread post11 Apr 2017, 21:45

laos wrote:
arian wrote:There are apparently at least 6 SAM sites the cruise missiles flew in close proximity to, in addition to the 2-3 protecting the base. There are 2 Pechora-2M, 1 Sa-2, 2 Sa-3 and 1 Sa-5 site within 5-10km of the flight path the missiles followed. In addition right nearby there is an early-warning radar site with at least 3 early-warning radars (1 P-14 and 2 P-80, along with 4 height-finder radars). .


Neither SA-2 nor SA-5 have a capability to engage such low flying targets as Tomahawk. Mostly due to minimal altitude and minimal range but also due to tracking capability of their fire control system and radar.


I am aware of that. I was pointing out the Syrians had plenty of assets to at least provide some early warning of the attack.

han9 wrote: BTW numerous Tomahawk missiles were shot down in previous conflicts starting with DS. If you are curious just ask Tom Cooper he has plenty of info on that - hint arguably the most effective means were not SAMs but point defense weapons such as rapid fire AA guns


Of course some have been shot down. The instances Tom was talking about were ZU-23s mounted on building roofs providing point defense. Not sure how "reliable" all those accounts are, and Tom's accounts of "eyewitness accounts" turn out to be wild exaggerations most of the time (as most "eyewitness" accounts from the ME are) but of course some Tomahwaks have been shot down before.
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madrat

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Unread post12 Apr 2017, 01:16

If the TLAM is destroyed over a city at 200 foot altitude by a near miss warhead, did the defenders really win?
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arian

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Unread post12 Apr 2017, 04:23

madrat wrote:If the TLAM is destroyed over a city at 200 foot altitude by a near miss warhead, did the defenders really win?


They can put the resulting damaged "school" on TV, and win over CNN or MSNBC quite easily. Depends on who they're trying to win over.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post12 Apr 2017, 09:40

As a former ADA guy, I can tell you that modern cruise missiles are just horrible for the defending systems. They fly at very low altitudes and/or have very low RCS and thermal signature which means they are very difficult to detect while en route to target. Especially so because they fly preplanned routes which are designed to maximize chance of getting to target by avoiding best defending systems and using terrain masking to avoid/delay detection. What makes things worse is that they are usually arriving almost simultaneously to target from different directions. This makes it really tough for defending systems to engage them in time. AD systems might kill couple of them, but not necessarily enough to matter much.

S-300 is not that well suited system to engage cruise missiles. It's long range and powerful missiles are not much of a use when engagement ranges are less than 30 km in ideal conditions and significantly less in real life conditions. Syrian terrain is mostly rough and pretty much guarantees that Pantsir and S-300 have fairly similar engagement ranges against TLAMs. Best AD systems to defend against cruise missiles are actually Western. Systems like NASAMS, Spyder and IRIS-T SLM can cover large geographical areas with multiple sensors at fairly low cost and have missiles and sensors that are well suited to engage low flying cruise missiles. They can also engage very large number of targets simultaneously and automatically which is critical in engaging cruise missile volleys. These can be backed up by CIWS type systems like Oerlikon Skyguard/Skyshield to take out leakers. Russian systems are quite limited in comparison.
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