For more than a year, the attention of the whole world has been riveted on the Middle East region, where once again the fate of many peoples of Muslim countries is being decided. A new object of direct state interests of the United States and its NATO allies was Syria with the regime of Bashar al-Assad disliked by the West. The country is balancing on the verge of a real civil war with numerous human and material losses. The civilian population perishes, the opposing sides, as usual, mutually blame it on each other. Opposition forces supported by the West acquire an organized structure, unified management, receive support from armaments, ammunition, food, etc. from Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, as the land and air borders of Syria are almost open. Government forces hold cities and large populated areas, while the opposition controls about half of the country's territory, including almost the entire countryside.
Preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria is of great geopolitical importance. Syria’s stability and power are also extremely important for Russia, which seeks to preserve its influence in the Middle East region. It is clear that military intervention by the West and the overthrow of the legitimate government of Syria will open a direct path to aggression against Iran, which, in the end, will pose a certain threat to Russia itself.
The geopolitical position of Syria is extremely unenviable. The country is in a hostile environment: Israel from the south, blazing Lebanon, unstable Palestine in the east, Iraq, and hostile Turkey from the north.
The military doctrine of Syria is based on the principle of defense sufficiency, which determines the development of the armed forces. They see Israel as the main adversary in Damascus, not excluding the threat of military conflicts with Iraq and Turkey.
The Syrian armed forces developed on the basis of these tasks and today are one of the strongest among the armed forces of the Arab world. Powerful ground forces (3 army corps, 12 divisions, 7 of them tank, 12 separate brigades, 10 special forces regiments, a separate tank regiment) are in dire need of cover from air strikes. Combat capabilities aviation Israel and Turkey are an order of magnitude superior to the Syrian air force. Undoubtedly, Syria, like any country, is unable to resist the actions of the combined group of the Air Force of the coalition of NATO states in the event they conduct air operations. Therefore, the Syrians have long been concerned about the development of an air defense system, acquiring modern air defense systems in Russia, Belarus, and China. According to experts, the air defense of Syria today is quite a formidable force.
The destruction of 22 on June 2012 by the Syrian air defenses of the Turkish reconnaissance aircraft clearly confirms this. According to many political analysts, the downed "Phantom" was almost a guarantee to prevent the upcoming NATO military intervention, rushing to the aid of the opposition. The effectiveness of the Syrian air defense is not put in any comparison with the air defense of Libya, which could not in any way withstand the modern grouping of the NATO air force.
Let's take a closer look at the state of the heroic air defense, consider some features of the construction of its components, try to give an objective assessment of the combat capabilities of the guarantor of sovereignty and the preservation of Syrian statehood.
What is in the arsenal of the Syrian air defense forces?
Syrian air defense forces are armed with anti-aircraft missile and artillery systems and complexes of both modern and obsolete types, past the Arab-Israeli war 40-year-old. At one time, the truly invaluable assistance ($ 13,4 billion of debt remained unpaid!) In the supply of weapons, training the personnel of the country had the Soviet Union, therefore, almost all weapons (not only anti-aircraft) are of Soviet and Russian origin. Today, Syria’s air defense has about 900 air defense missile systems and more 4000 anti-aircraft guns of various modifications. The greatest reach in range are the S-200 “Angara” and S-200 “Vega” (near 50 PU), C-75 “Dvina”; C-75M Volga. Israel’s extreme concern is caused by modern medium-range anti-aircraft missiles - C-300 early modifications (48 ZRK), which at the end of 2011 were allegedly supplied by Russia (according to other sources, by Belarus and China). The largest representation in the air defense system of Syria is represented by air defense systems and medium-range air defense systems, among which there are modern systems Buk-М1-2, Buk-М2Е (36 SOU, 12 ROM), as well as outdated C-125 "Neva", С -125М “Pechora” (140 PU), 200 SPU “Cube” (“Square”), 14 batteries of the OSR “Osa” (60 BM). In addition, in 2006, a contract was concluded for the supply of Syria's 50 most advanced Zrpk Pantsir-S1E, some of which are already in service. The ground forces include the Strela-1 air defense missile system, Strela-10 BM (35 units), around 4000 Strela-2 / 2М), Strela-3, and more than 2000 anti-aircraft artillery systems ZU-ZU-ZN-ZNC -23, ZSU-2-23 Shilka (4 units). Long-term storage of anti-aircraft artillery guns caliber 400 mm and 37 mm, as well as 57 mm gun KS-100.
As you can see, the bulk of the air defense missile systems and air defense systems (about 80%) are represented by obsolete IWT samples. Nevertheless, all the complexes over the past years have undergone (or are undergoing) a deep modernization and to some extent meet modern requirements.
Radar reconnaissance means are represented by П-12, П-14, П-15, П-30, П-35, П-80 locators, and radio height meters PRV-13, PRV-16, the ideology of which originates from the second half of the last century. This 30 – 40 technique years ago in the Arab-Israeli wars could still somehow stand up to the air enemy of that time, using the existing modes of tuning out various types of interference, changing operating frequencies, etc. Today these samples, first, developed a technical resource, in - secondly, hopelessly lagging behind the capabilities of the likely adversary in delivering "electronic strikes". In the best case, an air defense grouping can use these radars in peacetime while on combat duty in order to detect intruders, uncover the beginning of an attack by means of air attack (EHE), air traffic control, etc.
In order for the air defense system to work effectively, it is necessary that all its components fulfill their functional purpose, contributing to the solution of air defense tasks. It is impossible to judge the power of the air defense system on the fact of the defeat of one of the state border violators that were shot down in peacetime. The situation during the fighting will be completely different. The massive use of small air targets - elements of the WTO (type of UAV, cruise missiles, UAB, guided projectiles, etc.), the use of intensive fire and electronic countermeasures against air defense weapons, disabling the control system and intelligence, the widespread use of false and distracting goals - in such incredibly difficult conditions the air defense system will function. Reflection of the strikes of modern air aids, combined into a complex highly organized system, is possible only if it is opposed to an adequate high-performance air defense system. Here, the state and capabilities of control systems, enemy air reconnaissance and warning, a carefully organized and built anti-aircraft missile and artillery cover system (SCRA), as well as fighter-air cover (IAP) are of particular importance.
The control system for the combat operations of the Syrian air defense force groups is built according to the usual classical scheme, which unites the offices and headquarters of the air defense zones (North and South), command posts (control points) of anti-aircraft missile (artillery) formations, units and subdivisions, radio engineering units. The communication system is represented by traditional channels of tropospheric, relay, shortwave radio communication, and wired communication is also widely used.
The cover of the main territory of Syria by the air defense system. The affected areas of the C-75 ADMS are marked in red, C-125 - blue, C-200 - violet, 2K12 "Square" - green.
There are three fully computerized command posts for controlling air defense forces and assets. They allow, prior to the commencement of the air combat, to ensure the work of the command and control bodies in organizing air defense, planning combat operations, and to conduct exchange of operational-tactical information. The possibilities of centralized automated control of the combat operations of the entire air defense force are very low due to a number of reasons.
Firstly, the degree of equipment of air defense units and parts with modern means of automation is extremely low. The control system of anti-aircraft combat is represented by samples of automated control systems from anti-aircraft missile systems and systems, and the old fleet. For example, KSAU ASURK-75М (125MA), "Vector-200", "Diamond", "Senezh-M1E", "Proton", "Baikal" are used to control С-1, С-2 and С-1. were adopted in the middle of the last century. The ideology of controlling the combat operations of air defense weapons, implemented in these facilities, is absolutely no good for modern conditions and is hopelessly outdated. Available samples of automated control systems allow an automated way to solve the problems of collecting, processing, displaying and transmitting radar information in relation to the control of individual homogeneous air defense units (divisions, regiments, brigades). The centralized control of the combat operations of the mixed air defense groupings, both in the zones and in the unions, has not been implemented due to the lack of means of automated control systems for solving these tasks.
On the one hand, it is known that the decentralization of control significantly reduces the overall effectiveness of the air defense system due to the lack of interaction, omission of air targets, excessive concentration of fire, etc. Although, on the other hand, high-density EHF attacks are reflected in strong (overwhelming) interference, powerful fire resistance independent actions of anti-aircraft fire weapons can be the only effective way to solve air defense tasks. Developing detailed guidelines for firing and interaction with the distribution of the responsible space between firing units in the group and between the factions before the battle can bring the effectiveness of the air defense system to the potential one. Under these conditions, decentralized control may be preferable. A striking example of the inferiority of excessive centralization of control is the unpunished landing on Red Square of a light-engined aircraft that occurred 25 years ago, which flew through a fairly strong anti-aircraft defense grouping in the west of the USSR, which was uselessly awaiting a command from Moscow to open fire and defeat the aerial target discovered and accompanied by it.
Secondly, things are far from satisfactory with the state of the ACS fighting not only at the command post (PU) of the air defense forces, but also in the anti-aircraft weapons themselves. For example, the battery commander station PU-12 for the OSA “Osa” air defense system automatically solves only a narrow circle of tasks for linking and tracking tracks according to its own radar, recalculating the coordinates of radar images from a “digital” source. Moreover, target designation for combat vehicles has to be issued in a non-automated way, with a voice with issuing coordinates of the target, which also reduces the effectiveness of control. Considering that the Osa complexes are currently covering the C-200 brigades, for the destruction of which cruise missiles, UAB and other small-sized, speed targets can be used, the use of PU-12 in conditions of extreme shortage of time becomes almost useless.
The K-1 (“Crab”) control complex, created in 1957-1960, is used to control the Kvadrat SAM system. The complex allows on-site and in motion to visually display on the remote control of the brigade commander the air situation according to the information from the mating radar of the old park. Operators have to manually simultaneously process up to 10 targets, target them with forced guidance of guidance station antennas. To detect the enemy aircraft and issue target designation to the division, taking into account the distribution of targets and the transfer of fire, it requires 25-30 s, which is unacceptable in the conditions of modern short-term anti-aircraft combat. The range of radio links is limited and is only 15 – 20 km.
Higher capabilities are provided by the automated fire control system of modern ZRS and Buk-М2Е, С-300 and “Pantsir-С1Э” air defense missile systems (if they are delivered fully equipped with combat control points). In these means, the automated control system solves the tasks of automated decision-making for repelling air strikes (firing), setting fire tasks, monitoring their implementation, controlling the consumption of missiles (ammunition), organizing interaction, documenting combat work, etc.
Nevertheless, along with a high level of automation of fire control processes among the constituent elements of the complex, the problem of interaction with external air defense systems remains unresolved. With such a variety of means of a mixed group of air defense, the problem of organizing centralized automated management of it comes to the fore.
Thirdly, the problem is also aggravated due to the impossibility of information and technical interaction of various KSAU. The system for collecting and processing radar information with such equipment of the automated control system can only be non-automated using plates. Radar information obtained using P-12, P-14, P-15, P-30, P-35, P-80, PRV-13 and PRV-16 radars (possibly a new fleet radar) can be processed and used with the use of automated radar information processing posts (PORI-1, PORI-2), but Syria does not have any information about their presence. As a result, the enemy air reconnaissance and warning system will function with a large delay of radar information.
Thus, under the conditions of intensive fire and electronic countermeasures, the centralized control of air defense assets when it is equipped with obsolete ACS samples will undoubtedly be lost, which will reduce the potential capabilities of the group to destroy air targets.
The combat use of Syrian radio troops groups (RTV) of Syria has a number of characteristic features. The growing role of radio-technical forces in the air defense system in the armed conflicts of recent decades is quite obvious, the effectiveness of which mainly determines the quality of control, and hence the success of the fight against aviation and unmanned enemy vehicles. Nevertheless, one of the weak points of the Syrian air defense is radio engineering troops, equipped with outdated, fully developed radar service life. Around 50% of the radar, which are in service with radio engineering companies, battalions and brigades, require major repairs, 20-30% - the skygotovy. P-12, P-14, P-15, P-30, P-35, P-80 radars are well known to American military experts and their NATO colleagues in Vietnam, the Arab-Israeli wars and the Gulf wars.
One of the most advanced anti-aircraft weapons in Syria is the Pantsir-C1E air defense missile system.
At the same time, a significant qualitative breakthrough has occurred in the development and combat use of Western EASs over the past few decades. It is obvious that the Syrian (read, still Soviet) means of PTB are not able to effectively counter modern means of air attack for a number of reasons:
1. Low immunity grouping PTV. Radar samples designed in the middle of the last century, as well as the PTB grouping created on their basis, were able to provide combat missions under conditions of low-intensity active noise interference (up to 5 – 10 W / MHz), and in some sectors ) - under conditions of application of active noise interference of medium intensity (30 – 40 W / MHz). In the 2003 operation Shock and Thrill against Iraq, the EW forces and coalitions of the NATO countries created interference two orders of magnitude higher - up to 2-3 kW / MHz in the barrage mode and up to 30-75 kW / MHz - in targeted mode. At the same time, the RTGS and C-75 and C-125 air defense missiles, which are in service with the Iraqi air defense, were suppressed at 10-25 W / MHz.
2. Low level of automation of control over forces and radar reconnaissance equipment. The radar reconnaissance equipment in the Syrian RTV system is not able to function in a single information space due to the lack of a single automated center for collecting and processing information. The collection and processing of information in a non-automated way lead to large inaccuracies and delays in the transmission of airborne data to 4 – 10 minutes.
3. The inability to create a radar field with the required parameters. The fragmented radar field makes it possible to assess only a private air situation and make individual decisions on it to conduct combat operations. When creating a PTB group, it is necessary to take into account the geographical features of the area of the forthcoming hostilities, its limited size, the presence of large zones of airspace uncontrolled by the group of radio-technical troops. Mountain areas are not well suited for deploying subunits of PTB, because the creation of a continuous radar field is extremely problematic. Opportunities for maneuvering subunits and units of the PTB are also extremely limited.
The complex terrain features allow you to create a three-band radar field with the following parameters:
- the height of the lower boundary of the continuous radar field: over the territory of Syria, in the coastal region and along the line of divorce with Israel - 500 m; on the border with Lebanon - 500; over the territory of Lebanon - 2000 m;
- on the border with Turkey - 1000 - 3000 m; on the border with Iraq - 3000 m;
- the height of the upper boundary of the solid radar field over the territory of Syria - 25 000 m;
- The depth of the radar field (removal of detection lines) beyond the Syrian-Israeli border can be 50 - 150 km;
- overlap of the radar field - two or three times;
- at heights 100 – 200 m, the radar field has only a focal character in almost all important directions.
Of course, the ongoing modernization of the Soviet-made out-of-date radar systems contributes to the effectiveness of the Syria grouping of Syria. Thus, at the beginning of 2012, the Russian radar station deployed on the mountain Jabal al-Harr, south of Damascus, and the Syrian radar station, located in Lebanon on Mount Sanin, were modernized. This led to the possibility of promptly receiving information about possible air attacks from Israel. However, to tackle the problem, a radical re-equipment of the PTB with modern efficient radar systems is necessary. Partly this happens with the delivery of air defense systems and air defense systems, which include modern radars with high power and noise immunity.
Taking into account the specifics of equipping the PTB, the terrain, the experience of the combat use of the forces and means of reconnaissance of the Syrian air enemy, we can offer a number of basic organizational and tactical recommendations.
It is expedient to introduce into the subunits of the radar reconnaissance as corner-shaped reflectors and simulators of the radar radiation stations (IRIS) of a portable type as standard elements of combat order. Install corner reflectors on false and combat (spare) positions in groups or singly at a distance of up to 300 m from the radar (SURN, SOC SOC). Portable IRIS set at a distance of several hundred meters to several kilometers from the antenna post or SURN SAM.
Use radars, disabled, but with serviceable transmitting systems as false (distracting). Such radars should be deployed in combat positions at a distance of 300 – 500 m from command posts (command and control points), switched on to carry out radiation with the onset of the enemy EIA.
Deploy the network of airborne observation posts in all control centers (PU) and in the directions of the enemy's effective action VNOs, equipping them with means of observation, communication and data transmission. For the prompt notification of overflights of the IOS, organize special operational channels for the transfer of particularly important information.
A set of organizational measures is important for increasing the secrecy of the elements of the air enemy's intelligence system. At each position, the radar should be carefully camouflaged and engineering equipment immediately after deployment. The trenches for the intelligence stations are torn off so that the lower radiator of the antenna is at ground level. All cable facilities should be carefully covered to a depth of 30-60, see. Near each radar trenches and slots should be equipped to shelter personnel. The positions of radar reconnaissance units should be replaced immediately after the overflights of reconnaissance planes, after working on radiation, even for a short time, if they are at a position of more than four hours.
To reduce the visibility of the radar in the visible and IR ranges on the surrounding background, carry out camouflage and deforming staining, create false thermal targets from improvised means (making fires, igniting torches, etc.). False thermal targets must be placed on the ground at real distances corresponding to the distances between elements of the battle formations. It is advisable to use false heat targets in combination with corner reflectors, covering them with camouflage nets.
Most of all in the Syria air defense system are obsolete medium-range air defense systems, among which, in particular, near 200 SPU Kvadrat.
In the conditions of use by the enemy of the WTO to create radar fields on duty and combat mode. Duty radar field to create on the basis of the radar standby meter-wave range, which deploy in temporary positions. The radar field of the combat mode should be created covertly on the basis of modern radars of the combat mode from the structure of the incoming air defense systems (SAM). On rocket-hazardous directions, create warning bands on the basis of low-altitude radar, as well as visual observation posts. When selecting positions for their deployment, ensure that the closure angles in the sectors of probable detection of cruise missiles do not exceed 4-6 min. Airborne enemy reconnaissance prior to the commencement of EAS operations by locators with a predominantly meter-wave range from temporary positions. Shutting down these radars and maneuvering to spare positions should be carried out immediately after the radar is switched on in combat positions.
In order to organize the protection of the radar station against attacks of anti-radar missiles (RRP), the following measures should be taken in the radar reconnaissance units:
- purposefully carry out psychological training of personnel and training of combat crews in combat work when an adversary is using the enemy;
- to conduct an early and thorough analysis of the expected directions, areas, hidden routes for the launch of the launch-launch vehicle to the missile launch lines;
- to carry out timely opening of the beginning of the strike of an air enemy and the detection of the approach of its aircraft carriers to the launch points of the PI;
- implement a strict regulation of the operation of a radio-electronic device for radiation (mainly to use the radar of the meter wavelength range and PDFs for detecting and tracking targets);
- at the stage of organizing hostilities, to carry out the maximum separation of frequencies of the same type of radio-electronic installations in subunits, to provide for a periodic frequency maneuver;
- immediately turn off the radar centimeter and decimeter wavelengths after the start of the PI.
These and a number of other events are undoubtedly known to the radar crews, who studied the experience of combat operations and are preparing for a modern war. Despite the apparent simplicity and accessibility, their implementation, as practice shows, can significantly increase the survival rate of elements of the reconnaissance system of an air enemy in conditions of strong fire and electronic countermeasures.
POTENTIAL IS, BUT IT IS NOT SUFFICIENT
With the available number of air defense missile systems and air defense systems, as well as numerous anti-aircraft artillery complexes, the anti-aircraft missile and artillery cover system (SAM) of Syria’s defenses can create sufficiently high fire densities over the main targets of the country and military groupings.
The presence in the air defense system of various types of air defense missile systems, air defense systems and air defense missiles makes it possible to build a multi-layer system of anti-aircraft fire with the concentration of their efforts to cover the most important objects. Thus, the C-200 system will allow destroying the most important targets at 140 distances - 150 km from the borders of the sea coast, at distances up to 100 km from large industrial centers and in mountainous areas in the adjacent territory with Lebanon and Turkey. C-75, C-300 systems have a reach of up to 50-70 km above the covered objects (taking into account the values of the closing angle and the effect of interference). The fire capabilities of the modern Buk-М1-2, 2Э and Pantsir-С1Э air defense and air defense systems will ensure high density of fire at medium altitudes and distances up to 20-25 km. Completes the system of small scale and low altitude fire at the fire of numerous ZAK type "Shilka", C-60, KS-19.
Analysis of the fire system shows that there is a gap between the northern and southern zones of Syria’s air defense in the integral zone of destruction, primarily at extremely low, low and medium altitudes. The rupture of the affected area, although it is covered by two or three C-200 air defense systems from each side, however, it is likely that the position of their starting positions has long been explored and known to the enemy. With the start of active hostilities, these cruise missiles will be primarily hit by cruise missiles, so it is advisable to keep C-300P and Buk-M2E air defense systems in the hidden reserve in order to restore the impaired fire system.
In addition, there is a hidden approach from the north-west direction at extremely low and low altitudes in the northern air defense zone, covered by three C-200 divisions, three C-75 divisions and two C-125 divisions, whose positions are also undoubtedly explored. With the start of active operations of the enemy’s aviation, these positions will be hit by cruise missiles, the air defense system of the air defense missile system will be exposed to active interference, from which these types of complexes are not actually protected. In this case, in this direction, it is necessary to keep in a hidden reserve ZRS C-300P, the air defense system Buk-М2E to strengthen the fire system and its restoration.
To repel air strikes from Ar-Rakansky (northern), Al-Khasansky (northeast), Daur-Azzavr directions, which remain uncovered in the general air defense system, it is advisable to organize several air defense groups for ambush actions and as nomads. Such groups should include the Buk-M2E air defense missile system, Pantsir-S1E air defense missile system, MANPADS, 23-mm and 57-mm anti-aircraft guns.
A preliminary, superficial assessment of the fire system shows that the main efforts of the air defense forces are focused on covering two directions: the south-west (the border with Lebanon and Israel) and the north-west (the border with Turkey). The strongest air defense “umbrella” was created over the cities of Damascus, Hama, Idlib, Aleppo (the capital, large industrial and administrative centers). In addition, these cities are home to the main airfields of both civil and military aviation, as well as large groups of government troops. It is positive that long-range air defense systems cover the main territory of the country, while ensuring that the affected area is carried far to the main administrative and industrial centers, seaports, airfields, and groupings of troops. The exception is the uncovered part of the territory in northeastern Syria, which borders Iraq.
Downed 25 March 1999, the MiG-29 air force of Yugoslavia. In the event of the start of a NATO air operation, Syrian fighters will face the same fate.
The stationary anti-aircraft missile defense system is the basis for covering ground forces groups, which is complemented by the fire of the anti-aircraft mobile anti-aircraft gun systems. As already noted, these facilities in the regular structures of tank (mechanized) divisions and brigades are available up to 4000 units (the Shilka ZSU alone numbers about 400). These tools are quite effective in dealing with low-flying aircraft, helicopters, mobile, mobile and represent, in conjunction with other means, quite a formidable force.
Air defense grouping can fight all types of air targets over the entire altitude range, the potential capabilities of the air defense grouping can destroy up to 800 CBN a potential enemy before the ammunition of missiles and ammunition is used up in simple noise-free conditions. The multiplicity of overlap of the affected areas is 8 - 12 and allows you to: concentrate the fire of several complexes (mostly of different types) to destroy the most dangerous and important targets, contain a sufficient number of air defense forces and equipment in reserve, if necessary, maneuver to restore the impaired fire system of the air defense force group, carry out maneuver with fire in the course of repelling enemy air strikes.
As you can see, the potential capabilities of the Syrian air defense system are quite high. The coastal Mediterranean zone of Syria is covered with greater reliability by means of air defense, especially in the area of the sea ports of Tartus, Baniyas, Latakia. In addition to the available stationary air defense systems, the newly-commissioned Syrian air defense systems Buk-MHNUMXE are allegedly deployed in these areas. The reconnaissance Turkish aircraft shot down in this area flew along the coast of Syria, no doubt, in order to reveal its national air defense system, “get acquainted” with the new armament, provoke air defense radars to work in active mode, identify their location, detect uncovered areas in the air defense zones, evaluate the capabilities of the entire system. Well, to some extent, the reconnaissance aircraft succeeded. The destruction of the Turkish reconnaissance aircraft demonstrated that Syria’s air defense system is capable of carrying out combat missions.
However, it is rather premature to talk about its effectiveness in superb tones. The SCRA system, as well as other components of the Syrian air defense system, is far from perfect. The optimistic picture is overshadowed by the fact that the majority of anti-aircraft missile weapons are outdated and do not meet today's high standards. Armament and equipment - the ideas and production of the middle of the last century - are unable to withstand a highly organized, technically equipped air enemy, having in the arsenal the most modern systems of intelligence, control, fire and electronic countermeasures.
The main types of the old fleet SAM systems (С-200, С-75, С-125, О Osa, Kvadrat) are poorly protected from passive interference, practically not protected from active interference, do not have special operating modes under conditions of WTO elements (PI, SD, UAB). The experience of local wars and conflicts shows that the enemy will make every effort to reduce the fire capabilities of the air defense group, to counter the fire of the land forces and to reduce their effectiveness to a minimum. Practice shows that the air defense system will be the primary object of destruction, when powerful fire strikes of cruise missiles, “electronic strike” will be for 3-4 days suppressed and destroyed the system of intelligence, control, fire weapons of the air defense system. There are plenty of examples of this. In the conditions of a strong fire and electronic countermeasures of the air enemy, the capabilities of the Syrian air defense grouping during the initial period of the war can be reduced by 85-95%.
Of course, the full realization of the potential fire capabilities of an air defense force grouping is very problematic and practically impossible to implement. However, using a set of organizational and tactical measures, it is possible to significantly increase the survival rate of the system, and with it the effectiveness of air defense.
First of all, it is necessary to carry out measures of an organizational nature:
1. Particular attention should be paid to the development of advance instructions on firing and engagement, which is extremely important in the absence of centralized control of hostilities while repelling EAS attacks. The distribution of the responsible space, the determination of the order and sequence of the destruction of air targets will effectively realize the interaction between the various independent air defense groups in the course of repelling an impact.
2. Create mixed air defense groups with different types of air defense missile systems and ZAK (brigades, regiments, divisions, air defense groups), applying them to solve specific tasks of covering important objects in different directions. It is important to carefully build a system of fire without failures (taking into account the mountainous terrain) in all ranges of altitudes, especially at low and extremely low altitudes.
3. For self-cover, use not only MANPADS, ЗУ-23, ЗСУ-23-4 “Shilka”, but also for “Osa”, “Kvadrat”, “Pantsir-S1E”, 37-mm АЗП, 57-mm АЗП, 100-mm ZP, especially for self-protection of the C-200 SAM, C-300П.
4. Create a duty group of air defense contained in temporary positions and conducting reconnaissance of the enemy's airframe at peacetime frequencies.
5. Build a false fire system with a demonstration of its operation by the operation of mobile, mobile air defense systems.
6. Starting and firing positions are carefully equipped in engineering terms, to disguise them; equip false, prepare 2-3 spare positions.
7. On the likely concealed approaches of the enemy’s aviation, to plan and plan the use of mobile air defense groups for operations as a nomad and from ambushes.
With the beginning of active operations of the enemy aviation, it is advisable to apply the following recommendations:
1. C-200, C-300P divisions should be used only for the destruction of the most dangerous and most important targets, taking into account the possibility of their shelling.
2. To concentrate the fire to use different types of air defense systems.
3. To restore the impaired fire system, use mobile Buk-М2Е and З-300П air defense systems.
4. Restrict the operation of the radar radio control system for radar radiation, the activation of radar radiation alarm systems only in the presence of a central control center with a VKP.
5. Shooting to conduct targets with a minimum parameter and in the depth of the affected area, limiting the broadcast time as much as possible.
Thus, the potential of the SCRA system is quite high, but their implementation in the fight against the modern air enemy requires some effort. The air defense system will manifest its strength only if the use of its components is organized, one of which is the Fighter Aviation Cover System (SIAP).
The system of fighter air cover Syria has the same problems as all the country's armed forces. Air Force fighter aviation consists of four squadrons on the MiG-25, four on the MiG-23MLD, four squadrons are armed with the MiG-29А.
The basis of the fighter aircraft are 48 MiG-29A fighters, modernized at the turn of the century. The 30 interceptors MiG-25 and 80 (according to other 50 sources) MiG-23LD fighters are already outdated and have limited combat capabilities. Even the most modern of the park - the MiG-29 needs some work. In addition, the active composition of the Air Force has over 150 MiG-21 fighters, but their combat value is very low.
The weak point of SIAP is aerial reconnaissance. Syrian aviation does not have airborne radar systems - airborne early warning systems and therefore, in the event of an armed conflict, Syrian pilots will have to rely only on ground reconnaissance and guidance stations, also represented by an obsolete fleet.
The effectiveness of fighter air cover depends on the number and combat capabilities of fighters, the number of fighters in various levels of readiness, capabilities of reconnaissance and control systems for detecting EAS, the number of targets, their stability in EW conditions, the nature of enemy aviation operations (altitude, speed, depth of impact types of aircraft, etc.), the level of preparedness of flight personnel, time of day, weather conditions and other factors.
The estimated effectiveness of the fighter air cover (as the ratio of the number of destroyed air-combat aircraft by the fighter aircraft to the total number of air-combat aircraft participating in the raid in the area of responsibility) is about 6-8%. Of course, this is clearly not enough; moreover, even this low efficiency can be achieved only with a high level of preparedness of flight personnel.
Thus, the capabilities of the SIAP to disrupt the performance of the enemy’s combat mission are extremely insignificant. The countries of the likely enemy (Israel, Turkey) have a common military-technical superiority over Syria and an overwhelming majority in military aviation, command and control, communications, and intelligence. The air forces of these countries are more numerous, maneuverable, the combat equipment fleet is constantly replenished with modern weapons.
Syria’s air defense system, which has more than 80% of obsolete weapons, makes it difficult to count on success in countering NATO.
In general, the assessment of the state of the Syrian air defense is dual and ambiguous.
On the one hand, air defense groups have a large number of samples of the most diverse anti-aircraft weapons and military equipment. The mixed principle of recruiting military formations allows you to create a multi-layered system of fire in all ranges of heights, ensuring the shelling and destruction of the whole variety of modern EAS. The air defense zone over important objects (the capital, large industrial centers, seaports, groups of troops, airfields) can have 10-12-multiple overlap of the zones of destruction and shelling of various types of air defense missile systems, air defense systems and ZAC. The presence in the groups of long-range air defense missile systems allows for the removal of the affected area to the distant approaches to the covered objects. The fighter air cover system enhances the ability of the air defense system to intercept the most dangerous air targets over areas that are difficult to reach for ground-based air defense systems, in important areas, etc.
The air defense system is strong enough and capable of performing combat missions both in peacetime and in wartime. The destruction of single air targets, intruders, and the reflection of low-density EAS impacts in medium-intensity interference are quite feasible tasks for the Syrian air defense.
On the other hand, having only 12-15% of modern weapons in its composition, it is difficult for the air defense system to count on success in countering the strong, highly organized, equipped with the most modern weapons, command and control systems weapons (above all, high-precision) air enemy. Applying a complex of organizational, operational-tactical and technical measures, one can achieve some success in the difficult task of combating a modern air enemy. However, in the current state, the Syrian air defense system will not be able to withstand the united coalition air forces of Western states conducting air offensive operations with the use of several thousand cruise missiles, fighters, bombers, military helicopters with mandatory preliminary fire and electronic suppression of air defense systems.
Syrian air defense urgently needs a radical re-equipment of modern military equipment, a deep modernization of existing weapons and military equipment. High-quality training of military personnel, their preparation for conducting anti-aircraft battles with a technically superior enemy, training in anti-aircraft firing techniques (rocket launches) with all types of anti-aircraft weapons of both the modern and the past century are extremely important. Only under these conditions can we count on success in protecting the airspace.