Electronic Weapons: Smiting Syria With Suter


October 6, 2007: The most recent rumors, of what enabled the Israelis to slip past Syria's air defenses during the September 6th raid, describe a system that has been used in Iraq to detect transmissions from terrorist communications and zap IED detonation systems. This system is referred to as Suter, and such a program has been described in trade journals for several years now. The basic elements of Suter are powerful sensors, for detecting all manner of electronic emissions. This is coupled with some very fast computers, and a large database of known emitters. The computer software quickly identifies the emitters, and potential entry points into enemy communications networks. Suter transmitters can shut down some or all enemy emitters, just monitor them, or inject misleading information.

Naturally, with a system like this, the users don't want to discuss details. For once lots of details are known, systems like Suter are easier to defeat. To that end, within days of the September 6 attack, Russia had technical people in Syria, trying to figure out what Suter, or whatever, had done to the modern Russian early warning systems Syria was using. Iran was also demanding answers, and what the Russians told the Iranians initially was not pleasant. The Iranians won't say what the Russians told them, but the fall out was a lot of very unhappy Iranian military people. Some Russian techies are telling the Syrians and Iranians that the September 6th raid was actually a gift, because now more is known about what Suter can do, making it easier to defeat the system. That talk sounds more like damage control, because Suter has been described as a rapidly evolving system. The Russian air defense radars and computers may now be better able to deal with the September, 2007, version of Suter. But that advantage will fade quickly over the next few months as Suter continues to evolve.

Suter has been getting quite a workout in Iraq and Afghanistan, which doesn't make the Iranians or Syrians feel any better. The U.S. and Israel have been sharing a lot of counter-terrorism technology and tactics, and this would appear to be just another example.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contribute. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   contribute   Close