This Infographic Provides Lots of Details about Russia’s S-400 Advanced Air Defense Systems allegedly deployed to Syria

S-400 Triumph explained.

Some photographs published by Russia’s Ministry of Defense seem to suggest Moscow has just deployed at least one S-400 missile battery to Latakia, to protect the Russian air contingent deployed there.

Although the reports that the next-generation anti-aircraft weapon system was deployed to Syria were denied by the Russian MoD, whether the Russians have really deployed the system to protect their assets at Latakia or not is still subject to debate.

The Russian MoD image shows what looks like a 96L6 radar. However, according to Air Power Australia’s Dr Carlo Kopp “The 96L6 is the standard battery acquisition radar in the S-400 / SA-21 system, and is available as a retrofit for the S-300PM/PMU/PMU1 and S-300PMU2 Favorit / SA-20 Gargoyle as a substitute for the legacy acquisition radars.”

Considered that the presence of the S-400 has been officially denied, provided the one depicted in the photos is really a 96L6 radar, it may be deployed to support something else.

But let’s have a look at an interesting infographic that provides some details about the S-400.

Designated SA-21 “Growler” by NATO, the S-400 is believed to be able to engage all types of aerial targets including aircraft (someone says even VLO – Very Low Observable ones), drones and ballistic and cruise missiles within the range of 250 miles at an altitude of nearly 19 miles. Equipped with 3 different types of missiles and an acquisition radar capable of tracking up to 300 targets within the range of over 370 miles, the Triumph (or Triumf) is a system made of 8 launchers and a control station.

Supported by effective EW (Electronic Warfare) capabilities, the S-400 fires missiles against aerial targets flying at as much as 17,000 km/h: at least on paper, all non-stealth planes (including 4+ Generation planes)  will hardly be able to dodge them.

This means that all but U.S. F-22s and B-2s would be threatened by such an advanced air defense system over Syria (and in nearby airspaces).

That said, you can clearly understand why U.S., Israel and NATO are worried that the S-400 (or even S-300) can make their way to Syria (and Iran).

S-400 infographic

Image credit: Sputnik News



About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. In 90th Serbian AF shot down F-117 by old soviet C-125. How? Stealth is effective only against certain kind of radars.

  2. It’s true, Russians laugh at this ‘invisibility’ from the very beginning. The problem is all the stealth technology is bullshit, you cannot completely hide a huge machine from all bands of radar emission. You can only reduce its visibility to certain degree but the more advanced the radar is the less is the effect. Those planes are trackable my friend :)

    • I know full well the limitations of stealth technology, tracking it is one thing, but being able to take it out is another. The radars that can track stealth planes (like the F-22 & F-25) cannot actually get a fire control solution on them, it’s only tracking it’s general location. As for the B-2 it’s size allows it to remain undetected by VHF radars, the best bet for tracing a B-2 would be IRST.

      • Well, until they meet in a real encounter we never know. The fact is S-400 was first deployed in 2007, much later then those stealth planes came to existence and this guarantees ability to confront them was a mandatory design requirement for S-400. And they had enough time for implementation.

  3. This article is not 100% accurate because S-400 is capable of detecting stealth aircraft. As long as a plane comes within its range, stealth or not, it is vulnerable to the S-400 system which can operate in fully automated mode. The only way to deal with it is to blind it with some kind of a new jamming system (if such thing exists) or ambush it on the ground. Otherwise, God help any pilot who finds himself targeted by an S-400 battery.

  4. It’s not so easy to say that “stealth is dead” because of the use of VHF radars, since this kind of radars CANNOT be used to GUIDE MISSILES. So, you can detect an F-22 or a B-2 with a VHF or UHF radars, but nothing else can be done, because you can’t guide any missile to the object you already detected. That´s why is SO FUNNY to read that “Russians laugh at stealth technology”.

    If you don´t believe me, then why Russia is wasting money in their own “stealth fighter jet” the PAK-FA??. See??

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