The tense situation in the Middle East opens up various perspectives for Russia, including in the military-technical sphere. There was information that the Israeli missile "Stanner" fell on Syrian territory and could be delivered to Moscow for study.
The Sling of David and the Syrian War
Despite the fact that Israel is officially in very good relations with Russia, and Vladimir Putin does not tire of emphasizing his friendship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the Middle East, the Jewish state opposes Russia's allies - Syria and Iran. Iran and Israel are the worst enemies, while protecting against a possible attack from Iran is a very old headache for the Israeli defense department and the United States behind Israel.
In turn, Russia is interested in securing its Middle East ally - Syria, while Israel remains one of the key opponents of Damascus in the Middle East, which regularly launches missile strikes on Syrian territory - supposedly with the preventive purposes of defeating terrorists.
But not only this explains the interest of the Russian side in the Israeli arms. As you know, Israel makes very high-quality military products, and for Russia Israeli anti-missiles can be interesting from a purely technical point of view. Especially when it comes to Stanner missiles, which were designed as a result of the joint activities of the American military-industrial company Raytheon and the Israeli company Rafael.
The main characteristic of "Stanner" is the possibility of using dual-mode guidance on the final section of the trajectory. Homing devices are located in the bow compartment of the Stanner, which protects the missile from various interference during the flight and interception of the intended target. An Israeli anti-missile can easily intercept both cruise missiles with low radar signature and short-range ballistic missiles.
Another interesting feature of the rocket’s equipment is the data transmission channel included in the battery network of the David Sling complex. Due to its high maneuverability, the "Scanner" hits the target with a direct hit, due to its kinetic energy. This feature makes the missile much easier and more maneuverable than most other similar missiles, the warhead of which is stuffed with explosives.
Israeli missiles can calmly change course in the middle of the flight, aim for other targets, and bad weather is not a serious obstacle for them. But the cost of missile defense is very high - it is about a million dollars. Therefore, the massive use of such missiles costs the Israeli treasury "a pretty penny."
Recall that now the Israeli missile defense system includes three main components. The first is the Iron Dome system of the last frontier of defense, the main task of which is to shoot down short-range missiles launched from border territories. The second component is the Hets system, which protects Israel from long-range missiles that any enemy of the Israeli state can launch.
Finally, the third component and its middle link are the latest David Sling anti-missile batteries, which are aimed at intercepting short-range ballistic missiles and unguided missiles with a launch range of 70-300 km. It is the “David Sling” that is the most classified component of Israeli missile defense. And this is easy to understand - the “Sling of David” has the main hope for protecting Israeli territory from attacks from neighboring states where terrorist groups may operate.
According to world media reports, the “Sling of David” is practically not inferior to the Russian anti-aircraft missile system C-300, but in terms of technology it is even more complicated. With the help of missiles launched from it, you can shoot down not only other missiles, but also planes. Until recently, the Israeli command tried to maintain the exceptional secrecy of the David Sling complex.
But if the Israelis were most afraid that the secrets would fall into the hands of Iranians or Syrians, then for the overseas patrons of Israel in Washington the main fear was always the possibility of technological secrets getting into the Russian military. Moreover, the “David Sling” was created with the direct participation of American designers and with the help of American military technologies, also strictly classified. And this is what the American and Israeli military and special services were so afraid of.
The Tale of the Lost Rocket
The missile, which could fall into the hands of the Russian military, was launched, as it turned out, about a year and a half ago. Then, in the west of Syria, a short-range ballistic missile “Point-21” (the famous “Scarab”) was launched. She was released on the positions of the rebel groups by the rockets of the Syrian government troops. The Israeli military, fearing that the missile could fall in Israel, in the region of the Sea of Galilee, decided to intercept the missile.
Two missile defense systems were launched from the David Sling complex. However, after the launch of the missile defense, the Israeli command became convinced that the missile launched by the Syrian government forces did not threaten Israeli targets. As a result, a command was given to the self-liquidation of anti-ballistic missiles. However, only one rocket exploded. Another rocket fell into Syria.
Thus, the complex “Sling of David” was first used in real combat situations. But the Israeli military was very concerned that one of the missiles hit Syrian territory. The fact is that the IDF command certainly did not want the missile to fall into the hands of the Syrian, Iranian or Russian military. Until a certain time, the Israeli media carefully kept silent history with the Stanner rocket. Although there could be no information as such, the Israelis did not know what happened to the second missile.
The cover of the unknown was revealed by one of the Chinese news agencies only after a year and a half. According to Chinese journalists, the rocket was discovered by members of the Syrian government forces in Syria. The Israeli military declined to comment on this information. It is clear that for Jerusalem there is nothing good in the fact that the advanced rocket of a new generation fell into the hands of potential opponents. Indeed, now the enemy will be able to analyze in more detail both the missile itself and the missile system from which it was launched.
For the Israeli military command, this is, if not a failure, then at least a very unpleasant situation. So the IDF refrains from commenting, not wanting to once again excite the Israeli public, as well as show a potential adversary that Jerusalem has given up weakness and is concerned about the leak of its military secrets.
Taken to Moscow?
If the Israeli military from the very beginning kept secret the very fact of an unexploded rocket falling on Syrian territory, the Russian military department does not officially confirm information that the rocket could have been taken to Moscow - for careful study in special laboratories of the Russian Ministry of Defense.
According to Chinese media, an unexploded Israeli-made rocket found by Syrian soldiers was urgently delivered to the Russian military air base Khmeimim in Syria, and from there transported to Moscow. And in this version, despite the fact that the RF Ministry of Defense does not confirm it, a large proportion of truth may well be contained. It is no secret that the latest generation of Israeli missiles is of great interest to the Russian military. And now there was a great opportunity to get acquainted with the missile without any espionage scandals - the Israelis themselves, one might say, “gave” it to the Syrian military.
If the missile really hit Russia, which you can hardly doubt, this will lead to severe consequences for the future of the David Sling complex.
Firstly, Russian engineers will study in detail (or are they already studying?) All the features of the Israeli rocket. Proceeding from them, the latest generation of Russian weapons will be constructed, which will already be able to overcome obstacles in the form of Israeli anti-missile systems. The Russian military will be able to significantly improve their own technology of missile systems, making them even more effective and invulnerable.
Since Russia is an important supplier of weapons for Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, and many other Asian and African states, Israel faces a dull prospect of the need to modernize its missile defense system. Otherwise, in the foreseeable future, Israel’s military-political opponents may be equipped with anti-aircraft missile systems that will be sharpened to overcome the obstacle in the form of the David Sling missile defense system.
Secondly, the loss of the Stanner missile seriously worsens the image characteristics and, accordingly, the potential of the anti-ballistic complex as an export product. After all, every country wants to have at its disposal a unique weapon that will give it security guarantees against potential opponents.
For other states, a missile defense system, whose technical specifications have been carefully studied by Russian military engineers, will be of less interest. Moreover, in the world market of anti-aircraft missile systems, Russia is one of the leaders and seeks to provide competitive advantages of the C-400 anti-aircraft missile system.
Finally, Russia can take advantage of the David Sling technology and transfer it to third countries. The likelihood of technology transfer is not only and not so much Syria as much as Iran. Thus, in the hands of the Iranian military will be the last secrets of the US-Israeli military industry. Iranian engineers, in turn, can use them to design their own missile systems, to re-equip Iranian missile forces. This fact also poses a very serious danger to the Israeli state.
As you can see, good for Israel is not enough and the reasons for concern of the Israeli military command are quite obvious. Now Russia is very concerned about improving its military technology, and the incident in Syria in this context is a real gift for Moscow.