June 22 this year, near the Syrian coast was hit by Turkish aircraft RF-4E. Acts defense of Syria have caused the shaft of criticism from Western countries. Official Damascus, in turn, argues that the Turkish pilots invaded Syrian air space, after their flight was forcibly terminated. A clear course of events in the morning on June 22, has not yet become available to the general public, which was the prerequisite of mass releases. In the middle of other mentions provocative nature of flight: Turkey deliberately sent his own plane (not the new one) in order to accuse Syria of anger and draw from this incident casus belli. On the other hand, despite all sufficiently egregious statements, Ankara is not in a hurry to open the front and go to war against Syria. Why?
There is a brilliant version, according to which Syria so far not attacked due to the right of the military-technical policy of the administration of President Barack Assad. Practically, Turkish fighter aircraft violated Syrian place, was destroyed in a few minutes after crossing the border by air. This indicates a well-developed Syrian air defense. Specifically associated with the defense and one of the versions of events. She says that the Turkish «Phantom» intelligence modification was flying to force the Syrian air defense reveal their positions. So Makar, plane was to find the location of the radar detection, find a cover band and look for «blind spots.» Apparently, the pilots really managed to find the locations of radar. But the subsequent actions were not what they like, for sure, waiting in Turkey. Syrian air defenses are not only found herself, and made a successful attack the intruder.
In the middle followed the downed aircraft applications of particular interest are the words of NATO Secretary General AF Rasmussen. Despite the 5 minutes to fit Ankara, he limited the usual warning about the inadmissibility of such actions. It turns out that management of the Alliance understands the danger may be antiaircraft defense Syria and therefore does not begin active operations. In support of this conjecture states that a comparison of last year’s war in Libya and events Syria. It is easy to see that NATO aircraft began bombarding Libyan objects in just a few months after the first protests against the Jamahiriya. But Syria protests, attacks and clashes continued for 18 months. And in all that time there are only a discussion of the likely intervention, but did not open attack.
ZU-23-2100 mm KS-19
As we see, the version of a decent defense, able to cool excessively hot head, looks completely believable. Make out the technical equipment of the Syrian air defense forces. According to the reference book The Military Balance, armed with Syria so far are several models of Russian anti-aircraft guns, 23-mm ZU-23-2 and 100-mm KS-19, the total number of which passes for six hundred. Also, the Syrian military are about three hundred anti-aircraft self-propelled ZSU-23-4 «Shilka», which are still at the theoretical level can be dangerous for tactical aircraft. As for the anti-aircraft missile systems, and that Syria has a stationary SAM for the defense of the fundamental objects and mobile to protect troops on the march. Base missile defense weapons are S-125 and S-200 Russian production. These complexes can not be called new and modern, but, in the views of some Western professionals, hitherto a danger to certain aircraft. As for the army air defense, then in this region, Syria has a whole set of types of «Wasp-AA» to «armor-S1».
ZSU-23-4 «Shilka»S-125M «Neva-M» Anti-aircraft S-200 system
It remains only to find out, what ordnance complex «flew» in Turkish aircraft. Reuters referring to the Syrian Foreign Minister says that RF-4E was destroyed by anti-aircraft artillery. Naturally, disk imaging quite small, but even out of it can be a fascinating conclusion. The firing range at least some anti-aircraft cannon system is relatively small. Accordingly, to access the affected area plane was due not just to invade Syria, airy place, but come at a relatively small distance to the anti-aircraft batteries. In light of this, the representatives of Turkey Guess the word about accidentally violating the air space look unclear. However, Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül excuses, said the accidental crossing of the border by air, they say, the flight speed was great and the pilots did not have time to turn away. That sounds pretty impressive. But far not every anti-aircraft gun can hit a near-perfect or supersonic target. According to the available disk imaging, AA missile and gun system «Armour-C1» is able to work to targets flying at a speed of this spectrum. Practically speaking, that’s why almost immediately appeared on the defeat of the Turkish version of «Phantom» Syrian «shell.» However, clear evidence of the type of anti-aircraft means that destroyed the offender, so far not announced.
SAM «Wasp» 9K33ZRPK «Armour-C1»
In general, it should be emphasized that in the last couple of years, Damascus paid special attention to developing its own defense. After the appropriate actions of NATO forces during «Operation Desert Storm» the administration of President Hafez al-Assad, and later his son Bashar, began intensively to update equipment fleet air defense. As a result, only a couple of years is a cannon equipped air defense missile-gun was, and the troops did modern systems. Especially curious to these acts of Damascus look at the background of modernization of Libyan air defenses. By virtue of certain circumstances An old management Libya has not had time to adequately upgrade their means of defense against air attack. Result of such lack of foresight is evident — intervention, death or captivity representatives of legitimate authority and a complete change of control of the country and the political course. Of course, both al-Assad, while in office, came true, and spread the defense budget, taking into accou nt all possible threats. As a result of these actions, Syria has one of the best air defense systems in the Middle East, second only to Israel.
It turns out that only one downed aircraft has demonstrated the need to refrain from a full-scale military operation to attacks from the air. Antiaircraft defense Syria is a strong enough force. So hot heads from Turkey, NATO or other countries should first assess risk and to think three times before giving the order to attack. Of course, without the problems that turn the Iraqi or Libyan scenario will not work, and Syria, in turn, to give up without a fight, not wants.
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