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Air Defense: Waiting For Mister GoodSam
   Next Article → LEADERSHIP: Lessons Of The Iraq War

July 25, 2008: Israeli intelligence believes that Iran might have its Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile systems in service by the end of the year. Russia has been preparing to ship the missile systems to Iran for over a year now. Iranian troops have been training to operate the S-300, and Russian air defense experts have been showing the Iranians how to get the most out of these surface-to-air (SAM) systems, especially if attacked by Western (especially U.S. or Israeli) aircraft.

Roughly equivalent to the U.S. Patriot, the Russian built S-300 was known as the SA-10 to NATO, when the system first appeared in the early 1980s. The latest version is called the SA-20. S-300 missiles weigh 1.8 tons each and are 26 feet long and about 20 inches in diameter. The missiles have a range of some 200 kilometers and can hit targets as high as 100,000 feet. The missile has a 320 pound warhead.

Israel has been preparing to deal with the Iranian S-300s, including practicing against S-300s operated by the Greek armed forces. The S-300 has never had any combat experience, although it looks good on paper. Russia has done a lot of realistic testing of the S-300, but never had it confront a Western air force possessing equipment designed to defeat the Russian system. So developments in Iran are being watched closely by air defense experts around the globe.

Russia has already delivered dozens of shorter range surface-to-air missile systems, which can be used to defend specific facilities.

 

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displacedjim       7/25/2008 2:42:18 PM
Well now, if IMI really thinks they'll be delivered this year, that would make the situation more interesting, indeed.  With respect to the information content (not that I want it to be true), I hope this is a credible report and not just some lame-a$$ DEBKA rumor-mongering.
 
 
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dont_tread       7/25/2008 3:18:22 PM
like a hot knife through butter
 
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DarthAmerica       7/25/2008 5:51:12 PM
I think more than ever chances are good Iran could get the S-300. Not only is it time for them to modernize their SAM force, but Russia is desperate to get the attention of the USA over BMD and is looking for ways to pressure the USA away from pursuing the technology which they consider a very serious threat.
 
-DA

 
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kensohaski       7/26/2008 7:09:31 AM
The systems are Russian, will they work?
 
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DarthAmerica       7/26/2008 11:47:39 AM

The systems are Russian, will they work?

That they are from Russia is why they probably will work. Russians have mastered the art of surface-to-air missile technology. The system is in use by some NATO countries.
 
-DA
 
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jak267       7/26/2008 5:08:31 PM
For every Israeli or American plane that gets hit with one of these we should shoot down one of their Bears.
 
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DarthAmerica       7/26/2008 5:57:25 PM

For every Israeli or American plane that gets hit with one of these we should shoot down one of their Bears.


Who is "we?" I'm going to assume that you're referring to the United States. Israel will have very little ability to go after Russian Bombers. In any case, why would we take such harsh retaliation? Imagine if during the 1980s every time a Soviet helicopter was shot down by a Stinger missile in Afghanistan, the Soviets shot down a US Air Force bomber. The consequences of that would be terrible as would the consequences of your suggestion. Exported arms is just a fact of life. We do it, they do it, everybody does it. In this case, the surface-to-air missiles do not represent a threat that we cannot deal with.
 
-DA
 
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oOOOo       7/26/2008 7:10:46 PM
With a somewhat broad interpretation of Jak's statement, I think he does have a point.
 
The Russians are a relatively civilized people. They *SHOULD* be our allies against the nuttiness of religion-inspired totalitarianism. Unfortunately however, the Russians own centuries-long unavoidably damaged relationship with totalitarianism has left them unable to define themseles without an external enemy - such as western civilization.
 
As such, their ability to muck things up for us is the only thing that gets them hard. Their inability to develop a society better than a pathethic imitation of the west is mitigated only by pissing our our soup. They see their choices as frustate us or drink to oblivion. Contemptable? Yes. Understandable? Also yes.
 
A pity the supposed masters of "soft diplomacy" have yet to find a way to convince the Russians that a better world could be had by all should they whole-heartedly join us in what should theoretically be a natural mission for the Russians: crush radical islamism. Too difficult for the former and only slightly ex-totalitarianists to NOT make common cause with the current overt totalitarianists. The similar culture of corruption must only grease the skids.
 
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Daniel       7/31/2008 7:03:48 PM

With a somewhat broad interpretation of Jak's statement, I think he does have a point.

 

The Russians are a relatively civilized people. They *SHOULD* be our allies against the nuttiness of religion-inspired totalitarianism. Unfortunately however, the Russians own centuries-long unavoidably damaged relationship with totalitarianism has left them unable to define themseles without an external enemy - such as western civilization.

 

As such, their ability to muck things up for us is the only thing that gets them hard. Their inability to develop a society better than a pathethic imitation of the west is mitigated only by pissing our our soup. They see their choices as frustate us or drink to oblivion. Contemptable? Yes. Understandable? Also yes.

 

A pity the supposed masters of "soft diplomacy" have yet to find a way to convince the Russians that a better world could be had by all should they whole-heartedly join us in what should theoretically be a natural mission for the Russians: crush radical islamism. Too difficult for the former and only slightly ex-totalitarianists to NOT make common cause with the current overt totalitarianists. The similar culture of corruption must only grease the skids.



 
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