Russia deploys S-400 and moves guided-missile cruiser off Latakia to protect its jets near Turkish border

Nov 25 2015 - 104 Comments

After the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian Su-24, Moscow has decided to deploy some air defense systems to western Syria.

Following the downing of a Russian Su-24 by the Turkish Air Force on Nov. 24, that caused the death of one pilot (the other one was rescued and brought back to Latakia on the following day) Moscow has decided to put in place some new measures to protect its air group operating in northwestern Syria.

First of all, all the Russian attack planes will be escorted by Su-30SM Flankers during their missions against ground targets in Syria (previously, they operated without air cover).

Second, Moscow has decided to deploy at least one S-400 SAM battery to Latakia, to protect its planes from aerial threats in a range of 250 miles. As explained in a previous post about this air defense system, the S-400 (SA-21 “Growler” according to the NATO designation) is believed to be able to engage all types of aerial targets including VLO (Very-Low Observable) aircraft within the range of about 400 km at an altitude of nearly 19 miles.

Third, Russia has already moved the Moskva guided-missile cruiser off the coast of Latakia. Equipped with early warning systems and outfitted with 8 S-300F Fort anti-air systems with a range of 90 km and ceiling at 25,000 mt. Actually, the cruiser has been operating in the eastern Mediterranean to provide cover to the Russian air forces in Syria since Sept. 30.

The following infographic, prepared by @Naval_Graphics, details most of the weapon and sensor systems aboard the Slava-class cruiser.

Needless to say, with all the air defense systems amassing in the area, the 18 Turkish Air Force F-16s currently on CAP (Combat Air Patrol) station at the Syrian border, while the Russian jets conduct airstrikes in the Turkmen mountains (more or less in the same area where Su-24 pilots ejected yesterday), have something more to be worried about.

Moskva info full

Image credit: @Naval_Graphics


  • Anyway s400 are very vulnerable to stand off weapons such cruise missiles.

    • Pepe Le Cox

      You have no idea about the potencial of the S-400, it’s a complex, not only a radar and a couple of long range launchers, the complex have medium and short range defense missiles against SEAD HARM missiles, read this:

    • E1-Kabong


      A co-ordinated attack with say a half-dozen missiles would sort out the threat, quickly.

    • Petrovic Dusan

      This is a very strange statement.
      Did you read anything about S400?
      Among most important aspect of S400 is exactly possibility of destroying extra-low flying objects(5m!) which are cruise missiles and in large number at once
      No, cruise missiles are not of any danger

  • E1-Kabong

    Perhaps Russia should respect the borders of countries?

    Ask a Ukrainian about that.

  • Uniform223

  • Craig Pine

    Turks alone could knock out the Russians in Syria and elsewhere if they wanted to do so. They’re just playing them for now.

  • Aivar Krisenko

    I’m not an expert on Sidewinders per se, so you tell me how it works. Overall picture of this incident, is just an ambush by the TuAF. After the Su-24’s hit their radical friends on the Syrian side of the border, they were heading home with nothing to defend yourself. And that’s when the F-16’s showed up, hitting them when expected the least. Good tactics for cowards I guess.