Syrian Armed Forces

Today, the Syrian army is one of the most powerful armies of the Arab world in the Middle East. The armed forces are countries that have a traditional structure of 3 species: ground forces, air forces and air defense forces, naval forces. The total number of armed forces is estimated at 320 thousand people (16-e in the world), 354 thousand people are in reserve, the mobilization resource is estimated at 4 million people, of whom 2,3 million are suitable for military service. In addition to the armed forces, there are gendarmerie formations in Syria - around 8 000 people and the People’s Army (militia).

The modern military doctrine of the country was laid at the beginning of the 90s of the last century and is based on the principle of defensive sufficiency, which determines the development of the Armed Forces. Israel’s main adversary is the threat of military conflicts with Iraq and Turkey. The doctrine provides for the use of the army in military assistance to the Arab countries, as it was during the conflict in the Gulf zone in 1990-1991, as well as in Lebanon from 1976 to the withdrawal of troops in 2005. The military-political leadership of the country believes that the presence of strong armed forces allows Syria to act as an equal partner of Israel in conducting peace talks.

Syrian Army

The highest corps of ground forces, existing in peacetime, is the army corps. He is also the highest operational-tactical alliance. The main tactical formation of ground forces is the division. In total, the ground forces include 215 000 people (300 000 is still in reserve). In peacetime, they staffed 3 army corps, 12 divisions, 12 individual brigades, 10 special forces regiments (commandos), 1 separate tank regiment and 1 coastal missile defense brigade.

Syrian Armed Forces

Of the 12 Syrian divisions, 7 is tank, 3 is mechanized, 1 is the division of the Republican Guard (essentially tank), 1 is the special forces division. There are also 4 separate infantry brigades, 3 brigades of tactical missiles (such as Luna-M, Scud, Point), 2 anti-tank brigades, 2 artillery brigades and a border guard brigade.

The most prepared and combat-ready unit of the Syrian army is the division of the Republican Guard. The division consists of 2 tank and 2 mechanized brigades. The division is armed with up to 350 T-72 tanks (upgraded), 350 BMP-2 / 3, 30 152-mm SAU 2X3 SAU, 20 122-mm SAU 21 "Gcfe NgXX" XcNUMX 30-SAU 21 50 SAU XnUMX XNUMX XNUMX-mm SAU XNUMX XNUMX "Nazfx" N-XAUM XNUMX XNUMX XNUMX SAU XNUMX XNUMX-mm SAU XNUMX XNUMX "Acti" , XNUMX ZSU "Shilka" and other military and auxiliary equipment.

Ordinary Syrian tank divisions consist of 2 tank and 1 mechanized brigades, but have fewer tanks to 300 T72 / 62, and their motorized infantry move on armored personnel carriers and BMP-1. In addition, most of the artillery in such units is towed.

The mechanized divisions incorporate the 1 tank brigade and the 2 mechanized, are armed with X-NUMX T-200 / 62 tanks, their motorized infantry units are moved on armored personnel carriers. Artillery regiments of such divisions are equipped with towed X-NUMX-mm M-55 cannons and X-NUMX-mm howitzers D-130.

Infantry brigades of the Syrian army are designed to cover the front in the secondary areas of the fighting, anti-tank and artillery brigades are designed to support in combat mechanized formations. Missile brigades with operational tactical missiles are designed to strike the enemy with weapons mass destruction.

ATGM "Cornet-I"

All in all, the ground forces are armed with 4800 tanks, among them 1500-1700 T-72 of various modifications, around 1000 T-62, 2000-2250 T-54 and T-55, of which approximately 1000 is in conservation. Due to the fact that the last tanks were delivered to the country during the USSR, the army tank park cannot be considered modern. However, according to a number of sources, Syria is making significant efforts to modernize the existing armored vehicles.

Over the past decades, only two major contracts of Syria in the interests of the ground forces are known. In 1995, the modernization of 200 T-55 tanks to version T-55MB was ordered in Ukraine. These tanks received enhanced booking, dynamic protection of the frontal part and part of the sides, as well as the 9K116 "Bastion" guided weapon system. At one time, part of the existing T-72 was upgraded with increased head-on booking and equipment with dynamic protection. A number of experts believe that the T-72 tanks from the Republican Guard division can use the 9K118 “Reflex” guided weapon system. In 1998, Damascus concluded an agreement with Moscow for the supply of 1000 ATCM "Cornet-I" in the amount of 65 million dollars, as well as the Mestis-M complexes in the amount of 73 million dollars.

The main vehicle for the transportation of motorized infantry is the BMP-1 (there are up to 2450 vehicles), also in service is the 100 BMP-2 and several dozen BMP-3. In addition, the troops have about 1000 BRDM-2, including self-propelled systems for launching anti-aircraft systems and more than 1500 BTRs, including 1000 BTR 50 / 60 / 70 and about 500 BTR-152.

Fire support for mechanized units are designed to provide more than 500 ACS. Among them are 50 152-mm SAU 2C3 "Acacia", 400 122-mm SAU 2C1 "Carnation" and more 50 122-mm SAU SP122 of local production. This ACS is a D-30 howitzer mounted on an open installation based on the T-34-85 tank chassis.

SAU 2C1 "Carnation"

In addition to self-propelled Syrian army has a significant amount of towed artillery (about 1500 trunks). Among them are 10 180-mm long-range cannons C-23, 70 152-X га га га га X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X Xdr. X X X X X X X X X Xdr. Га га га га Xnumx guns of the M-20, about 20 800-га-уб-убуб-ui-xi-XnUMX-МMNXX, 130-46-гаубубуб-п п-п. mm howitzers M-500. In addition, around 122 30-mm howitzers are in storage.

Syria also has a significant number of mortars. There are about 100 mortars of the 160 caliber mm, about 10 240-mm mortars, about 400 120-mm mortars and an impressive amount of 82 mm battalion mortars.

In addition to the traditional artillery in the armament of the ground forces, there is a 300 MLRS BM-21 "Grad" and up to 200 MLRS "Type 63" made in China, having a caliber 107 mm.

Syrian Air Force and Air Defense

The air force and air defense of the country have 100 000 people in their ranks, of which 60 000 in air defense and 40 000 in air force. The air force consists of fighter, fighter-bomber, bomber, reconnaissance, military transport, training and helicopter aircraft. In service is 478 combat aircraft, 106 training, 31 training and combat, 25 transport aircraft. The helicopter fleet consists of approximately 100 combat and 110 transport helicopters.

MiG-23MLD Syrian Air Force

It is worth noting that the country's air force has a sufficient number of combat vehicles, which for the most part are obsolete. The most combat-ready fighters from the Air Force are the 48 MiG-29, which in the late 90-x and 2000-s were modernized with the help of Russian specialists. 20-25 heavy MiG-25 interceptor fighters and up to 50 MiG-23MLD fighters may also be of some value. In addition to them, the Syrian air force counts up to 150 MiG-21 fighters, whose combat value in comparison with Israeli fighters tends to zero.

The Syrian attack aircraft has about 40 Su-24 front-line bombers, a similar number of MiG-23BN fighter-bombers and the same number of Su-22 fighter-bombers. Su-24 bombers are capable of flying at ultra-low altitudes around the terrain, developing supersonic speeds, as well as using guided weapons. They are the most effective strike weapons of the country's air force and are able to work even in the conditions of enemy air supremacy.

The air force of the country, despite the presence of a small number of relatively modern cars, is significantly inferior to the Israeli Air Force, both in the quality of its fleet and in its numbers. Among other things, Israel has the best flight personnel and an impressive system of support for the actions of its air force, including airborne early warning aircraft, while Syria has to manage only a system of ground-based radars.

Su-22 Syrian Air Force

Syrian Army Aviation has about a hundred attack helicopters: X-NUMX French SA-55 Gazelle and 342 Soviet Mi-36, besides this, it contains about 24 Mi-100 transport helicopters and up to 17 Mi-10 helicopters.

Syria’s neighborhood with Israel, which possesses significant and well-trained Air Forces, has always forced the leadership of this Arab country to pay close attention to air defense. Currently, Syria has a significant number of anti-aircraft missile systems, as well as an impressive fleet of barreled anti-aircraft artillery.

The country's air defense units are represented by 2 divisions, 25 anti-aircraft missile brigades (as part of the air defense divisions and individual, only about 150 batteries), parts of the radio engineering troops. Currently in service is 908 PU ZUR (about 600 C-75 and C-125, to 200 "Square", 48 PU ZUR of long-range C-200M, 60 PU ZUR "Wasp", and also to 4000 artillery guns ). The territory of the country is divided into 2 air defense zone: South and North. To control the country's air defense, there is a 3 fully computerized gearbox.

For the most part, the outdated C-75, C-125 and Kvadrat air defense missiles are in service (the latter have been upgraded, the possibility of intercepting air targets in the conditions of strong radio-electronic suppression from the enemy) is improved. These air defense weapons are not able to effectively counteract modern means of air attack, while experts note problems with the training of personnel of the formations.

ZRK "Square"

The most long-range and modern air defense systems are the S-200M (Vega-M) air defense missile systems deployed in 2 brigades with a total of 48 units. The range of their shooting exceeds 250 km, in contrast to its early counterparts, this modification allows you to fight with low-flying targets. To cover the deployment areas of these air defense systems, Syria has 14 batteries (60 PU) of mobile Osa air defense systems.

Ground forces in combat and on the march from air attacks cover the Strela-1 air defense missile system (up to 20 PU based on BRDM), Strela 10 (30 PU based on MT-LB), as well as more than 4000 calculations of armed MANPADS “Needle”, “Arrow-2”, “Arrow-2M”. The main mobile air defense device for the ground forces is the Shilka ZSU-23-4, which has a quad 23-mm artillery gun in service. In addition, the troops have about 1200 towed units, of which 600 is in ZU-23-2, and about 600 on 57-mm anti-aircraft guns C-60.

Summing up, we can say that Syria’s air defense, although it does not have the newest air defense systems, like Buk-M1 or C-300, with proper use, is able to provide an adequate level of cover for civilian objects and troops from the air, forcing the enemy air forces to switch from attacks from ground targets to the fight against air defense.

Syrian Navy

The Syrian Navy is the smallest type of armed forces - about 4 000 people. The main tasks are the defense of sea communications, the defense of the sea coast of the country and territorial waters from the blows of enemy ship groups. The headquarters of the Navy is located in Latakia, the ships are located in 3 bases: in Latakia (the main base of the fleet), Tartus, and Mina el Beida. The fleet also includes artillery and missile units of the coastal defense, a squadron of PLO helicopters, an observation battalion and a detachment of combat swimmers.

Missile Boat Pr 205

The fleet includes 10 warships, 18 combat boats, 4 auxiliary vessels, 1 hydrographic and 1 training. Warships presented 2 frigates (Soviet antisubmarine ships project 159E, passed the country in 1975 year), 3 landing craft project 770 (transferred in 1981-84 years) and 5 trawlers, as Soviet-made (obtained in 70-80-ies). Of the 10 combat boats, there are various modifications of the 205 project (they were delivered from 1979 to 1982 year), 8 1400 patrolmen with machine guns (delivered from the USSR in 1984-1986).

The naval aviation is armed with 24 anti-submarine helicopters (Ka-28 - 4 units, Mi-14 - 20 units). Coastal defense units are armed with 10 PU mobile coastal defense systems (6 PU "Rubezh" and 4 PU "Redut", as well as about 100 missiles of both types), 36 130 mm caliber 12 and 100 mm artillery shells.

It is worth noting that the ships and boats of the Syrian Navy are morally outdated and badly worn, needing major repairs and replacement with new ships.
Sergey Yuferev
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