Monday 20th of May 2024

Russian Deployment S-300 Missile And Widening Gulf between Russia- America Relations
Sanjay Pradhan
Region : Middle East-North Africa,
Issue : Nuclear Issues, Security,
The announcement came on October 4 after Washington said it was suspending talks with Moscow aimed at reviving the ceasefire deal. This makes it the first time Russia has deployed the Antey-2500 S-300V4 outside its borders (the Antey-2500 is a long-range air defense missile system. It is a downgraded export version of the Russian S-300VM. Western name for this system is SA-23 Gladiator/Giant. The main role of the Antey-2500 is to protect task forces and vital industrial and military installations against massed air attacks).
The Antey-2500 is a new system that entered service only in 2014. It is operational with the Russian Army. The system is designed to defeat short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles.
The S-300 V4 features- high firepower potential irrespective of air attack tactics or sequence, passive electronically scanned array radars with advanced data processing methods, high electronic countermeasures immunity and inertial guidance with radio command mid-course update and semi-active radar homing at the terminal phase.
The system uses two types of missiles with a hypersonic capability,
1) high resistance to countermeasures, and a unique capacity for terminal maneuvers against a target; one to counter aircraft and cruise missile attack
2) That can hit intermediate and short range ballistic missiles, including the US Army’s ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System).
The smaller 9M83M can reach targets at up to 100 km range at maximum speed up to equating to Mach 7.4. It can counter manned and unmanned aircraft at all altitudes. The missiles are launched vertically from a special transport launch canister. They are to operate maintenance-free for at least ten years. Warheads of missiles are packed with 150 kg of explosives. System can track up to 200 targets and engage 24 simultaneously, at altitudes between 25,000m and 30,000 m (82,000ft and 98,400ft).
The Antey-2500 surface-to-air missile defence system is also equipped with 9S19ME sector surveillance radar to track and detect high speed targets, such as ballistic missile warheads. The detection range is about 330 km. It detects ballistic missiles at a range of about 175 km.
Circular observation radar provides all-round surveillance, early warning and target acquisition data. The extended range engagement capability degrades an opponent’s ability to exercise effective command and control over its air assets during mass strikes against ground objects and troops, as well as efforts to conduct surveillance and jamming from standoff ranges. The efficient anti-jamming immunity enables to engage air targets in intensive electronic and fire counteraction environment, in any weather, by day and night.
A battery of the Antey-2500 typically includes up two six launchers in two variants, command post vehicle, surveillance radar, sector surveillance radar, and up to 6 reloading vehicles/launchers in two variants.
The system joins Russia's advanced S-400 missile defense battery and an array of other surface-to-air missiles (SAM) at Khmeimim air base in Syria's coastal province of Latakia to create a layered air defense zone. Amid the rising Russian-US tensions, the new deployment greatly boosts the multi-layered air defense in Syria ready to counter any imaginable threat. It sends a warning signal to anybody harboring aggressive plans and serves as a deterrence measure to prevent the worst scenarios envisaged under consideration in the United States. The system’s unique capability to strike small size aerial targets is in demand in Syria against the background of the recent attack against the Russian embassy in Damascus.
The deployment is a sign that Vladimir Putin is planning to ramp up his operations in the war-ravaged country. Weapon - known as S-300 in Russia or as SA-23 Gladiator by NATO. The S-300 as first deployed by the Soviet Union in 1979 and have since been compared to the US Patriot Air and Missile Defence System which is operating in Eastern Europe.
Tensions between the US and Russia relation has hit such a low, that it's beyond a Cold War. US presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton has pledged to set up a no-fly zone in Syria. The Russian Ministry of Defense has warned that there may be no time for any hot-line discussions. No time for talks, , bringing the two nuclear powered nations ever closer to a confrontation. But other side the Israelis and Russians established such a mechanism last year when Russian started its air strikes against Syrian opposition groups. The aim was to prevent “misunderstandings”. According to media, source said that the Israeli request was made in order to prevent any accidental attacks on Israeli planes flying over Syrian territory.
Earlier this month, Russia stationed S300 anti-aircraft missile defence systems at its naval base in Tartus on the Syrian coast. Washington expressed its fears that these could be used to intercept US cruise missiles. “We are currently developing our response and will send it to the Israelis in the context of the agreed upon procedures between the two sides,” a Russian said.
One specialist in Israel-Russia relations said that the reinforcement of Russia’s military presence in Syria, including the S300 systems, is part of the Washington-Moscow conflict. “Israel has nothing to do with it,” insisted Alex Tenzer. “For Russia, it is not a regional conflict, but global. So Russia needs to establish military cooperation with Israel in Syria at the same time that Israel needs this cooperation.”
Russia took measures involving the S300 system following Washington’s suspension of talks with Moscow over the Syrian issue. It is also worried that the US might target the Syrian army loyal to Bashar Al-Assad in Aleppo.
After suspending the talk between Russia and America over Syria, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia responded by withdrawing from a landmark arms control agreement that calls for each side to dispose of 34 tons of plutonium, a material used in nuclear weapons. “The mistrust and hostility toward the United States by the Russian leadership is real and growing. It is going to be the driving force behind Russian external behaviour for many years to come.” Said Andrew S. Weiss, a former White House expert on Russia who is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. It is clear that the gulf between Russia and the Western powers was as wide as ever
Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FORE INDIA.

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