Military Review

"Fortune-telling on the coffee grounds": an expert on the S-400's ability to protect China from missiles from the United States


The administration of US President Donald Trump continues to insist on the sale of the latest AGM-84H / K SLAM-ER air-to-ground missiles to Taiwan, which are positioned as a vital means of countering a potential conflict with China.

At the same time, Beijing will use the well-known Russian S-400 Triumph air defense system to defend its territory.

But can the S-400 protect China from a massive attack using new US missiles?

- the edition asks Russia Beyond, noting that the answer is ambiguous.

Omnivorous air defense

According to him, Moscow sold two batteries of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Beijing in 2017 and delivered the first batch a year later. Each battery contains 4 launchers armed with 4 missiles, giving a total of 16 anti-missiles per battery, capable of shooting down fifth generation fighters and cruise missiles at ranges of up to 200 km.

The S-400 was created to counter all modern and even some promising air threats, including 5th generation jet aircraft, bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, rocket swarms. Vadim Kozulin, an expert from the Academy of Military Sciences, suggests that the S-400 can also be shot down by the AGM-84H / K SLAM-ER missiles, which are suitable for the F-16 fighters that the United States has already sold to Taiwan.

Risk Factors

However, there are important nuances. Now it looks like fortune telling on coffee grounds. Such air defense systems are designed to destroy all air targets within a radius of 200 km. But will foreign air forces send their planes or missiles over this zone of control?

- asks Kazulin.

As he recalls, during the attack on the Shayrat airbase in Syria, the United States built a flight route for its Tomahawk cruise missiles outside the range of the Russian S-400 installations located in the region.

The strikes were delivered bypassing the air defense cover zone. Otherwise, up to 95% of their multi-million dollar [in value] shells would be shot down

- explains the professor.

According to him, it would be wrong to take into account only tactical characteristics and strike capabilities. weaponsthus ignoring other factors.

Each strike is considered based on the conditions of a specific theater of operations, enemy defense and your arsenals. Yes, China does not provide air defense systems to protect its entire territory from air strikes, but the Taiwanese Air Force does not have the ability to strike from all directions

- summarizes Kazulin.

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. Ali
    Ali 21 September 2020 04: 12
    China is able to inflict unacceptable damage to the United States with other types of weapons, therefore, arguments about the S-400 air defense system somehow do not play a big role, especially since China has its own analogues of the S-300 air defense system (HQ-9, etc.), and not in small quantities, and are exported.
    1. V1er
      V1er 21 September 2020 04: 25
      Quote: Ali
      China has its counterparts of the S-300 air defense system (HQ-9, etc.), and not in small quantities

      Here, on VO, there was recently an article about the analysis of China's air defense systems and comparing them with ours. I will say that the Chinese systems, at least in terms of characteristics, are no better than ours. And even worse. This is when compared with the-300 of old modifications. If we compare the s-400 and the new modifications of the s-300, then it is definitely worse.
      1. hrych
        hrych 21 September 2020 07: 45
        It's not about which is better or worse, the main thing is to hit the target. However, the main political, economic and, accordingly, military centers of the PRC are located in the area of ​​the sea coast. And the curvature of the earth simply will not allow the s-400 complex to work effectively. Therefore, it is impossible to build an echeloned defense. Due to geography, the PRC has only object air defense. Unlike the Russian Plain, this is where the low-altitude breakthrough concept is very effective. Therefore, Ohio, stuffed with a cloud of Tomahawks, walk there and fly B-1b. The first, disarming strike of the PRC is not capable of repelling (at least in the coastal area), which means that the second wave of carrier-based aviation will work with impunity with complete air superiority. But this is not necessary, the economic embargo and blockade are much more effective. These Maoists, when they betrayed the Union, yes, the West gave consumer goods and dirty industries, but also paid with securities. Therefore, the main Chinese wealth is the IOUs of American companies for which, as Obama told Mr. Hujintao, the US government is not responsible. Well, there is the 18 trillion US national debt, which they forgive everyone. It has already been said about the lack of food security and self-sufficiency in energy resources and, first of all, in oil. The blockade and in a few months China will collapse.
        1. huntsman650
          huntsman650 21 September 2020 08: 11
          The second wave may not take place) if China does not wait for it)
        2. V1er
          V1er 21 September 2020 08: 21
          First, ours can supply China through the blockade. Second, the world will collapse if Chinese goods stop entering the market. There is almost nothing to replace them with. More expensive copies will appear, but it will take time.
          Quote: hrych
          To these Maoists, when they betrayed the Union,

          Third, it was not the Maoists who betrayed the Union, but Khrushchev betrayed Stalin and the old Soviet system, and began to build a new one. Naturally, the Chinese were offended. The new Soviet system collapsed 40 years later. The Chinese system is still alive, it doesn't matter if it was helped or not, it works.
          1. hrych
            hrych 21 September 2020 08: 52
            First, we will be neutral and have no excess oil. We will not violate contracts with the EU. And it is unrealistic to reimburse sea deliveries by rail 60% from OPEC countries.
            Secondly, the world will not collapse from delays in consumer goods. Well, the phones will not be changed in a year, but in two. The West did not entrust strategic industries to the Chinese, only consumer goods and dirty chemicalswassat
            Third, the Maoists, having lost a million in the Korean War and lost the PLA, were largely defeated, although there was a draw in Korea and the war stopped immediately after Stalin's death. Having received unacceptable losses, the Chinese began to systematically subordinate to the West. And Stalin has nothing to do with it, if he were alive, he would burn the Chinese in the furnace of the World Revolution, which he kindled in Korea. And a gift to the Chinese in the form of an atomic bomb was for this. To prevent this from happening in Europe, the West had to use up its nuclear arsenal in the APR. We had nuclear weapons, but there was no parity.
            1. smart fellow
              smart fellow 21 September 2020 10: 12
              The losses of the Chinese in the Korean War were several times less. Stalin died in 1953 and peace talks began in 1951. If you believe in US propaganda, then acknowledge the West's assertion that the United States and Britain won World War II and saved the USSR from defeat.
              1. hrych
                hrych 21 September 2020 16: 27
                I do not know about the negotiations, which reached a dead end, but the war ended in 1953 at the end of July. And Stalin died in early March 1953. After Stalin's death, the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee voted to end the war. Having lost support from the USSR, China agreed to the voluntary repatriation of prisoners of war. On April 20, 1953, the exchange of the first sick and crippled prisoners began. After the UN accepted the Indian ceasefire proposal, the treaty was concluded on July 27, 1953. This is the chronology and is not subject to appeal. In terms of losses, the Soviet aviation neutralized the advantage of the Americans in the air and the ground battles became decisive. Here the combat experience of the victory of the Americans over the Japanese, who, in turn, completely kneaded the Chinese, had an effect. And the Chinese have successfully applied the ninth wave tactics ... for the Americans. Also, the simply mediocre Chinese organization of medical aid, evacuation and logistics in general affected. Therefore, everything is logical.
                1. smart fellow
                  smart fellow 21 September 2020 19: 56
                  According to a number of American military historians, the USSR slowed down peace negotiations in pursuit of its own interests. For 3 years, the US industry worked for the war in Korea, which gave the USSR time to close the gap with the US. Millions of Koreans who were killed and maimed as a result of carpet bombing paid for it with their lives. All settlements and hydraulic structures were destroyed, which caused flooding and famine. According to estimates with which both sides agree, more than 80% of the victims of the war were civilians.
                  As the American general said, over 2 years of peace talks, the US aviation destroyed everything that could be in Korea and there were no more targets left for the American bombers. More bombs were dropped than in Europe during World War II, and about the same number of napalm as in Vietnam. At the same time, in Vietnam, they burned the jungle with napalm, and in Korea, settlements.
                  If you call it "Soviet aviation has neutralized the advantage of the Americans in the air," it sounds at least strange. 64 IAK was located in China and the fighters did not fly over the sea and did not fly further than Pyongyang. Chinese pilots fought over the sea, and Korean ones on the front line.
                  As historians write, the Korean War cooled the Soviet-Chinese relations. China bore the brunt of the war and had to pay for military supplies, while for the USSR, the war became a testing ground for new technology. The Soviet Union received all the bonuses, while China's relations with the United States deteriorated and the issue with Taiwan remained unresolved.
                  1. hrych
                    hrych 21 September 2020 20: 56
                    Well, you can raise the statistics. Remember Black Thursday. When the US Air Force lost 10 aircraft in 14 minutes: 10 heavy bombers and 4 fighters, another 15 heavy bombers were decommissioned upon landing.
                    You can remember Black Tuesday, when Soviet pilots shot down twelve B-29s and 4 F-84s. The remaining nine Superfortresses are all damaged and slain. Only a month later, three B-29s, covered by the Sabers, tried again to raid the Yalu River crossings in the daytime. However, the MiGs shot down all three vehicles. Those. the Americans lost fifty Superfortresses in a short period, whom did they fill there? And where did the burnt Koreans go, and why are there 25 million now? Why was the population 1950 in 10 and 549 in 472? Those. during the war years, the population decline was slightly more than 1955 thousand, and this is taking into account more than 10 thousand killed and obligatory demographic losses, i.e. a decrease in the birth rate, an increase in mortality, as well as more than 086 thousand who fled to the South, and about 991 thousand who fled to the North. You have a mystic, and we have statistics wassat For everything converges 600 thousand-300 thousand = 300 thousand, plus more than 100 thousand dead. The decrease is more than 400 thousand, and after all, the UN data on the population confirms this. There are no millions of dead North Koreans, there are 100. But the killed Chinese, and even exclusively military, and of course men, then yes. So you have to be able to fight.
                    1. smart fellow
                      smart fellow 22 September 2020 10: 08
                      On the end of the Korean War: Democrat Truman's 1952 presidential election was overwhelmingly won by Republican candidate General Dwight D. Eisenhower. One of Eisenhower's campaign promises was to end the Korean war, and he kept it.
                      I already wrote about the actions of the 64th IAK, the so-called "avenue of flashes" was so called because Soviet pilots flew only in this area.

                      Bruce Cumings "Nuclear Threats Against North Korea" Results of the Forgotten War.
                      Le Monde Diplomatic, December 20, 2004:
                      ... From June to the end of October 1950, the B-29 dropped over three million liters of napalm.
                      ... the bombing razed North Korea to the ground and killed millions of its civilians. North Koreans say they were threatened with napalm burning every day for three years in a row. “There was no escape from this,” one of them told me in 1981. By 1952, virtually everything in Central and North Korea had been destroyed. Those who survived hid in caves.
                      During this war, as Konrad Crane writes, the US Air Force "wrought terrible destruction throughout North Korea. A post-ceasefire bombing damage assessment showed that of 22 major cities, 18 were at least half destroyed." He cites a table that shows that the large industrial centers Hamhung and Hungnam were destroyed by 80-85%, Sariwon by 95%, Sinanju by 100%, the Chinnampo port by 80% and Pyongyang by 75%. A British journalist describes one of thousands of razed villages as "a low, wide mound of purple ash." General William Dean, captured after the Battle of Taejon in July 1950 and taken north, later said that most of the towns and villages he saw were simply "heaps of rubble or snow-covered wastelands." Almost every Korean he met had a family member killed by the bombing. Even Winston Churchill broke down at the end of the war and told Washington that when napalm was invented, no one thought that it would be "splashed" on civilians.
                      This was the "limited war" in Korea. As a tombstone, we will quote the words of its chief planner Curtis LeMay. After it started, he said, "We kind of slipped a note under the Pentagon door that said, let's go there ... and burn the five largest cities in North Korea - and they're not that big - and it's over. . " Well, there were screams in response - "You will kill a lot of civilians" and "This is too terrible." However, in three years or so ... we burned every city in North Korea, and South Korea too ...
                      1. hrych
                        hrych 22 September 2020 10: 34
                        Alley of Migov is the protection of the crossing, where, by cutting it, the North Koreans and the Chinese would be doomed to total defeat. Therefore, Migi absolutely dominated there. But Korea is not great, there were battles everywhere. I repeat, demographic statistics reject the millions of victims of the Korean population. Even if the buildings are destroyed, people manage to hide in special shelters, basements, etc. An example of Dresden, where there were 650 thousand before the war, plus up to 200 thousand refugees from the advancing Russian troops were added. The city was destroyed, but the number of victims was 25 thousand. There was also Goebbels's propaganda about 200 thousand, but according to the updated data of the police and municipal authorities of the city there were 25 thousand victims. Again, whether this is not enough and you still need to wind up. Therefore, we do not rely on American witnesses, fear has big eyes. And then Pyongyang was not a metropolis as it is now.
                      2. smart fellow
                        smart fellow 23 September 2020 08: 21
                        What ferry? In 2 nights, unnoticed by the United States, 100 thousand Chinese soldiers crossed the river and drove 300 thousand UN troops at a run to Seoul. There was no smell of Soviet pilots there.
                        Do you take statistics from Nekhta? Those have 200 thousand protesters, and according to official figures 20 thousand. As some commentators put it on this site, you are "trying to pull an owl onto the globe."
                      3. hrych
                        hrych 23 September 2020 08: 45
                        Do not confuse the treacherous attack with the subsequent return flow, when without MiGs there would be no DPRK and the PRC would not have survived. Moreover, only MiGs prevented the nuclear bombing of the DPRK, PRC, and in the future the USSR. Ferstein? Having shown that the Superfortress with an atomic bomb will not break through, the MiGs will not be allowed and there is no chance of a strike. The risk of losing the Superfortress with an atomic bomb stopped the decision to use it, not humanism and other nonsense. Ask in Nagasaki, they will tell you about humanism. The MiG Alley is not only about protecting the supply of troops - it is the insurmountable line of a nuclear attack ... And if you yourself do not have enough knowledge of history and strategy, then do not get personal.
                      4. smart fellow
                        smart fellow 23 September 2020 19: 00
                        If you're not joking, then your friend has a poor imagination and little knowledge! There are enough materials on the Internet about the plans of "Dropshot" and others like it and why they were never implemented.
                      5. hrych
                        hrych 23 September 2020 19: 05
                        So study wassat
  • horus88
    horus88 21 September 2020 04: 56
    Unacceptable damage is a loose concept. And can China massively attack US territory with its missiles? We can send rockets through the Pole, and through Europe, and through the Bering Strait. In general, the Russian Federation has many opportunities. In China, they are much more limited.
    But back to the damage, and for one thing, to the benefit of this possible damage.
    The destruction of the Russian Federation is not worth 20-30 million Americans and half, at best, the Europeans who were burnt in a nuclear fire because of the response of our strategic nuclear forces. Because the United States will not receive any special benefits from the destruction of the Russian Federation, we are not competitors to them. Moreover, we can pile, as it is said - who is in paradise, and who will simply die.
    Another thing is to donate 10-20 million Americans, Japanese, Taiwanese and Yu Koreans, but to destroy their main competitor.
    I believe that if the US authorities are 100% sure that China will surpass them economically, conventionally, and as a result, politically, in the next 15 years, then they can try their luck. Because if the hegemon shakes, then first the Europeans will jump off, then everyone else will put their devices on them. And this is tantamount to the end of the United States as a state.
    So they'll do anything for the sake of success. And a billion Chinese will be burned without a doubt.
    Of course, first we will have to resolve the issue with our non-interference. And here it will depend on our rulers.
    1. Olddetractor
      Olddetractor 21 September 2020 05: 15
      Because if the hegemon shakes, then first the Europeans will jump off, then everyone else will put their devices on them. This is equivalent to the end of the United States as a state.

      China will not allow the hegemon to fall, this very hegemon has long been owned by the Chinese, only the political big top swaggers, demonstrating independence
      1. hrych
        hrych 21 September 2020 07: 59
        A strange statement. The PRC's problem is that they have very weak strategic nuclear forces, in the overwhelming number of these are SD missiles. They were preparing to fight the USSR, India, Japan, etc. They ... believed in the USA. Therefore, they have one-piece ICBMs and there are few of them. They suffered the disarming blow of the Sichuan earthquake when they lost their underground nuclear chemical center. Now they are hiding their remains in the curvature of the border with the Russian Federation, so that the enemy cannot launch missiles through the territory of the Russian Federation. Also, the Aegis and others must deal with their ICBM units. US East Coast, the Chinese are not capable of attacking at all. China is trying to make some nuclear submarines, but their prospects are dubious. The Tu-16 clone does not pull on the strategist, the dubious nuclear submarines, which in the Chinese photos were ... painted, a small number of monoblock ICBMs, with a dubious ability to withstand a disarming strike. And the inability to withstand the blockade and economic war. The prognosis is poor.
    2. Victor_B
      Victor_B 21 September 2020 06: 33
      Quote: horus88
      Unacceptable harm is a loose concept.

      For the Americans, it is enough (IMHO) to simply destroy their AUG ... am
      I suppose - up to a nuclear strike ...
      Well, not in Beijing right away ...
      On the same new island with an airfield that the Chinese poured.
      Well, do not occupy China?
  • Uncle lee
    Uncle lee 21 September 2020 04: 42
    taiwanese air force
    They will act from one direction, which means you can cover this sector.
  • Senka naughty
    Senka naughty 21 September 2020 04: 56
    In modern realities, you can trust artillery and short-range air defense, and all these long-range super-duper missiles have never been deployed from a candy wrapper. So you can discuss as much as you like.
  • Zaurbek
    Zaurbek 21 September 2020 08: 09
    The strikes were delivered bypassing the air defense cover zone. Otherwise, up to 95% of their multi-million dollar [in value] shells would be shot down

    1. Some of which will identify the location of the air defense system
    2. They will be shot down by the same multimillion-dollar anti-aircraft missiles.
    3. Much will depend on the preliminary reconnaissance of targets.
  • Dva parovoza
    Dva parovoza 21 September 2020 09: 34
    "Moscow sold to Beijing TWO BATTERIES (allocated for comparison) of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems in 2017 and delivered the first batch a year later. Each battery contains 4 launchers armed with 4 missiles, which gives a total of 16 anti-missiles per battery."
    To the author of the article: Before publishing this nonsense, please read at least the topic you are writing to.
    Information for review: The contract was concluded not for TWO BATTERIES, but for TWO S-400 REGIONAL KITS as part of the command post, two divisions of launchers (in each regimental set). The division includes: a command post with a radar detection system (RLC); up to six anti-aircraft missile systems (each complex includes a radar station (radar) and up to 12 launchers (PU) ... And this is the basic set. And now, the author, if strong in mathematics, count the "pencils".
    Good luck with your writing.
  • ficus2003
    ficus2003 21 September 2020 16: 32
    during the attack on the Shayrat airbase in Syria, the United States built a flight route for its Tomahawk cruise missiles outside the range of Russian S-400 installations located in this region

    Where are the proofs? Or is it just another melodrama a la Cook where all the US sailors died of heart attacks at the sight of 30 year old Russian fighters?