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

Nov 13 2015 - 27 Comments

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



  • sferrin

    I guess they think ISIS is flying modern attack aircraft now?

    • It will give the IAF second thoughts about taking pot shots at damascus.

      • BroccoliRob

        That is what this is really about.

    • MsMultifrukt

      No, they think to frighten the U.S. Air Force though if “fight” will begin America has enough power to demolish to hell all this base together with Damascus)

      • Wizzy

        Yeah US Air Force has been demolishing major powers like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya since like forever. What can Russian Air Force with some of the best fighter jets and air defense systems the world has ever seen do to protect their base and retaliate?

        • MovieQ

          Don’t forget how the US destroyed Vietnam that global super power :) .

  • E1-Kabong

    Now this is what all the armchair experts who think the F-35 is garbage and the Sub-Par Hornet is great, need to read and process.

    See if they can comprehend the facts….

  • Jan Schmidt

    russian sam technology is modular and interchangeable – at latakia only one s-400 triumph battery acquisition radar 96L6E was confirmed – it is a 3D radar and superior to s-300 radar – it is prudent of the russian MoD to secure their base and west syria against ballistic missiles attacks (grad and frog)

    any bullshit about infighting is now over – thanks to paris attacks – we all have a common enemy
    two people from my hometown were wounded in paris – now its a real war until ISIS is dead


  • Josh

    Don’t know if we (the US or NATO) have had the opportunity to suck up ELINT on these systems yet. Could be good for the USAF and USN to get that intel.

  • Steve Fortson

    The radar can be used independently of the missiles for both air traffic control purposes, and command and control purposes. Just because the radar is there doesn’t mean the entire system is there.

  • Roland Lawrence

    17,000kph is quite some speed! With everything being modular and interchangeable with the S300 / 400 there are no end of variants. Capability is really on an install by install basis.

  • Andris Avots

    I’m really wondering why US/NATO do not have at least comparable air defense system(s).

    • E1-Kabong

      NATO has the Patriot, Crotale NG, Aster/SAMP-T/Mamba, Roland, LFK NG, MEADS, NASAMS, etc.

    • Wizzy

      It’s simple, they are overrated. US/NATO could not fight Russia and win and people with serious brains know that.

    • Stepan Sushko

      Soviet Union (and Russia nowadays) invested more in defence systems than in attacking. US and Co did and does the opposite.

    • Arizona Jim

      Trust me, the US has plenty of “classified” means to eliminate Russian air defenses. It just isn’t apparent in peacetime.

  • E1-Kabong


  • Kaiser Suze

    As a RuAF officer, I can assure you that even the late versions of S-300 can take down F-22 and B-2, not talking about S-400.

    • Arizona Jim

      True but by time the reduced RCS is detected the S-300/400 will be history because it won’t have time to wake up with the plane 2 miles from the battery.

  • RQ-170

    its already proved that stealth can be find and locked on by anti air system.

    Prove what Optical lock video shown by Iranian on RQ-170

  • Stepan Sushko

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

  • Sergei Inyushkin

    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 :)

    • Michael Rich

      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.

      • Sergei Inyushkin

        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.

  • MovieQ

    The US already has missiles in Turkey as part of NATO.

  • My GⓄⓄgle

    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.

  • Cristián Hugo Muñoz Campos

    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??