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The New Iron Curtain: Russian missile defense challenges US Air Power



The Russian anti-aircraft system S-400, a light and potentially deadly air shield, is changing the way the US and its allies think about potential hot spots, starting with their deployment in Syria.

S-400 radar, which Russia claims to be capable of detecting the latest stealth aircraft, is throwing a net around western Syria, stretching from Turkey across the Mediterranean to Israel.

Although not yet tested in combat, S-400 radar tracking has thrown away US-led coalition aircraft in Syria "as soon as they see on their electronic indicators that they are being watched," said Lieutenant-General Viktor Gumyonny, Commander of the Russian air defense forces, a television interviewer.

Russia's hybrid warfare tactics against the West, including election observation campaigns and online disinformation campaigns, have received the most attention from legislators and the US government. The spread of the S-400 system shows that Russia is also investing heavily in traditional military firepower.

Airborne Defense

Russia has just presented some locations of its S-400 anti-aircraft system.

Russia's S-400

stakes

Russia's S-400

stakes

Russia's S-400

stakes

Russia's S-400 stakes

"We have to understand that The absolute dominance of air in the US is over, "said Elbridge Colby, director of defense program at the Center for New American Security, an impartial defense think tank.

The Pentagon acknowledged that S-400 batteries in Syria had forced adjustments to the Coalition's air operations, but Americans generally still maintained freedom of movement in the air. "We can continue where we need to be," said an American defense official.

The White House revised its national security strategy in late 2017 to meet the new challenge. Russia executes "military capabilities that deny access to America in times of crisis and call into question our ability to operate freely," according to a report. "They call our geopolitical advantages into question."

A Congress-led bipartisan commission assessing President Trump's defense strategy reaffirmed these concerns in a November paper. Russia, according to the commission, "searched for regional hegemony and sought ways to project power to the whole world."

The Commission said Russia's actions are "the reduction of US military benefits and the threat of vital US interests".

The Kremlin has long opposed it, calling it a US-led world order. Through its increasingly aggressive foreign policy, Russia seeks a world divided into spheres of influence controlled by Moscow, Washington and Beijing.

  S-400 anti-aircraft missiles parked on the Hmeimim air base in Syria in a photo from the Russian Ministry of Defense.

S-400 anti-aircraft missiles parked at the Hmeimim air base in Syria on a photo of the Russian Ministry of Defense.


Photo:

Russian Ministry of Defense / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

Moscow is not out to confront the US forces directly: Russia has a military budget that is about one tenth of the size of the Pentagon. Despite Russia's intervention in Syria and the invasion of the Crimea, his capabilities in the Air Force and Navy are far behind the US and China's military.

In Syria, according to official sources, more Russian army personnel were killed in plane crashes as enemy fire. Russia's only aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, is being overtaken. In October, a crane fell on the ship and caused severe, possibly irreparable damage to the aircraft carrier.

The missiles of the S-400 should give Russian President Vladimir Putin a deadly threat to the military intervention of the West if a crisis in Russia erupts European borders in the Middle East or North Korea.

The presence of the S-400 in Syria was an effective sales tool that attracted both American enemies and allies. Purchases from China and India as well as potential deals with Turkey and Saudi Arabia have raised alarms with officials in Washington and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

With the fulfillment of the mission by Russia, the growing presence of the S-400 threatens to create decades of undisputed US air superiority in the Middle East, Arctic and parts of Asia. By selling the S-400 to other countries, Russia was distributing the cost of limiting the US military.

"Russia does not want military superiority, but it has ended the superiority of the West or the US," said Sergey Karaganov, a foreign policy advisor to Mr. Putin. "Now the West can no longer use force indiscriminately."

  Mike Pence, Vice President, saw an AC-3 upper body air missile system from Patriot Advanced Capability during a visit to Tokyo last year.

Vice President Mike Pence saw a Patriot Advanced Capability (AC-3) AC-3 missile system during a visit to Tokyo last year.


Photo:

Kazuhiro Nogi / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

The Pentagon said Russian measures would have to change America's position.

"The US remains the world's outstanding military power and continues to build its relationship with NATO allies and partners to maintain our strategic advantage," said Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon. "The US and our allies have a series of measures to ensure that the balance of power remains in our favor."

Russia's Rise

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the US took on the role of undisputed superpower of the world.

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, the US used its air superiority against foreign governments as a threat. Afghanistan, Iraq and then Libya got into the crosshairs.

In 2010, Putin announced a plan to modernize the Russian military, saying his nation would spend $ 650 billion over a decade. The plan included the replacement and upgrading of old aging Soviet anti-aircraft and anti-ship defense systems.

Russia's occupation with defense is a product of its history, which included the invasions of Napoleon Bonaparte's army in the 1812 war on Nazi troops during World War II.

"The Russian military is structured differently than the United States expeditionary force," said Michael Kofman, a scientist at CNA, a nonprofit research group in Arlington, Virginia. "It's not meant to mirror forces like the United States, but rather should counteract them. "

  S-400 anti-aircraft missiles in Sevastopol, Russia.

S-400 anti-aircraft missiles in Sevastopol, Russia.


Photo:

Malgavko Sergei / TASS / Zuma Press

Buyers of the S-400 are eligible for US sanctions under a 2017 law that punishes allies doing business with the Russian defense industry.

China received an S-400 shipment last year, and its equipment department, which oversees the purchase, was sanctioned in September. India agreed a $ 5 billion deal for the S-400 Aircraft Defense System in October. She hopes to avoid sanctions and says she can compensate China's growing power as a US security partner. It is unclear whether the Saudi Arabia agreement with Russia will be finalized on probable US pressure.

The Pentagon has objected to the planned purchase of Turkey's S-400 and said Russia would get too close to NATO operations. Anti-aircraft missile systems typically receive data from satellites as well as from aircraft to detect attacks. The integration of the S-400 system into Turkish bases would also give Russia an insight into radar-sweeping F-35 fighters.

Missile Matchup

The S-400 was not tested in combat but on paper surpasses the comparable Patriot system of the United States. Sales to China and India as well as potential deals with Turkey and Saudi Arabia have raised alarm in the West.

Maximum values ​​of each missile defense system

Patriot (PAC-1 to 3)

Number of targets

Target speed, miles per second

Radar detection

373 miles

Patriot

(PAC- 1 to 3)

Ballistic Missile

37 miles

Ballistic Missile

12 miles

Maximum values ​​of each missile defense system

Patriot

(PAC-1 to 3)

Number of targets it can track

target speed, miles per second [19659066] radar

detection

373 miles

patriot (PAC-1 to 3)

ballistic missile

37 miles

Ballistic Missile

12 miles

Maxima of each missile defense system

Patriot (PAC-1 to 3)

Number of targets it can track

Target Speed, Miles Per Second

Radar Detection [1 9659079] 373 miles

Patriot

(PAC-1 to 3) [19659080] Ballistic missile

37 miles

Ballistic missile

12 miles

Maxima of each missile defense system

] Number of targets it can track

Target speed, miles per second

Radar detection [19659088] 373 miles

Ballistic

Missile

37 miles

Ballistic

Missile

12 miles

The S-400 deal could cover the delivery of F-35s laid in Turkey Endanger fighters, said US officials.

Turkish authorities said they needed an antiaircraft system to shield the southern border with Syria. USA-based US Patriot missiles deployed in southern Turkey in 2013 after Syrian forces shot down a Turkish jet fighter and killed two. The systems were removed in 2015 when the US eased the threat of Syria.

The US has since offered to sell its Patriot missile defense systems to Turkey, and an American delegation was in Ankara last week to investigate the details. However, Turkey said it had no intention of giving up on the purchase of the S-400.

From missile to missile

On paper, the S-400 surpasses the Patriot missile system. Its radar system can track up to 300 potential targets – rockets or aircraft – up to 250 miles and at speeds close to 3 miles per second.

The Patriot can connect to 100 potential targets and hit a target at maximum speed at just under one mile per second.

The S-400 Base Unit comprises four launch vehicles carried on a wheeled transport vehicle. It takes about eight minutes to push the 33 foot launch tubes into a vertical position, launch the tracking radar, and reach the targets.

Most of the Russian S-400 is stationed on the western border of the country. S-400 divisions also defend the Black Sea Peninsula Crimea, which Moscow had conquered from Ukraine in 2014.

Several divisions are positioned on four of the Russian Arctic regions. With the polar ice giving way to global warming, both Washington and Moscow see the far north as the new frontier for maritime transport in the Arctic, possibly connecting Asia and Europe, as well as a place for energy research. Further east, the S-400 covers the northern end of the Kuril Islands, the area that had conquered the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. Japan claims four of the islands at the southern end of the archipelago.

According to the Ministry of Defense, Russia has more than 300 air defense systems across the country. The exact number and locations are secret.

Washington accuses Moscow of violating the nuclear war treaty of the inter-war Cold War. The Russian rocket 9M729 could fly with a range prohibited by the agreement. Russia says the missile does not violate the agreement.

Russia has used other defense mechanisms to prevent the enemy forces from breaching their sea and land borders. Antiship missiles reinforce the defense of the Kuril Islands, and the Russian exclave Kaliningrad between Lithuania and Poland hosts short-range ballistic iskander-type rockets.

  Russian President Vladimir Putin (center) and Yan Novikov (right), general director of Almaz-Antey in a plant in Izhevsk, Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (center) and Yan Novikov (right), General Director of Almaz-Antey, in a plant in Izhevsk (Russia).


Photo:

Metzel Mikhail / TASS / Zuma Press

Despite the economic downturn of recent years, fueled by lower oil prices and Western sanctions, the Kremlin envisaged a further 19 trillion rubles, more than $ 300 billion, in November for the next decade. Development and production of weapons were spent.

Looking to the future, Russian defense contractor Almaz-Antey, who builds anti-aircraft systems, is designing an evolved S-500 model to counteract the next generation of hypersonic and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The Company Has Selected Two Facilities


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