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

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


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. Turkey violated Greek aerospace hundreds of times, but they shot down an ally for an alleged 3 kilometres intrusion? An intrusion that lasts, given the speed of a Su-24, less than 15 seconds?
    Turkey has benn stabbing the efforts against ISIS since the start of the operations, bombing kurds, buying some of ISIS oil and letting radical islamists cross their borders.

    • Clearly you haven’t been paying attention to Russian behavior with regards to Turkey the last several months.

      • What about turkish behavior regarding it’s neighbors? They are
        systematically breaching their neighbors airspace – not even to mention
        their daily incursions in Syria – those are ended for now, if they care
        for their birds.
        Quite interesting how every plane the turks shot down crashed outside their borders.

  2. i always had much respect for russian warships – in wargames i swamped them with harm and harpoon missiles after thinning out the air cover but needed several alpha strikes to sink them

    any ship or aircraft that got to close was obliterated

    slava class is the little sister of the kirov class – and that is the biggest most powerful cruiser ever

  3. This means that the F 16 Turks are getting hooked to the Russians radar?
    although no Russian plane is chasing them?

    in this case, the pilot of Turkish F16, receives a constant alarm in his cabin?
    or sounds an alert only if a missile is launched or attached to him?

    • S 400 rockets fly with speed of about 2500meters/second which is about 9000km/h
      Nothing can help in the case F16 is targeted

      • One load of JASSMs by a B-1B and the S-400 site would be rubble. Or Turkey could just handle it themselves. All they need to do is take out the radar (or jam it) and those missiles become dead weight.

        • No,B1 would get shot down first without any doubt,it is 70es era airplane and quite visible even older radar systems.
          You believe Russian army did not heard of jamming?
          Also,Turkey does not operate B1,for your information.

          As far as I know, only US air force does.
          Not only that there is no possibly scenario in which US would attack Russian Latakia base,but they would never risk thermonuclear destruction by Russian missiles over such subject as war in Syria, which is irrelevant for security of US.
          Unlike you,US Army respect Russians because they know exactly what weapons Russia has.
          See how Obama said SU-24 was downed in Syrian airspace.
          That means,Russia did not attack Turkey and Article 5 of NATO can’t be applied.
          Nato defends its members under attack,not if they attack first in other countrie’s territory

          • No, you’ve been reading far too much Russian propaganda.

            B-1B’s (or B-52’s or B-2’s) wouldn’t be near the engagement zone of a SAM.

            By the time the missiles hit, the bombers would be on their way home…

            Didn’t know that Turkey has SOM’s did you?

            Unlike you, the West isn’t invading and attacking anti-government rebels.
            Unlike you, our government didn’t invade the Ukraine.

            Guess you don’t see that aircraft can GLIDE.
            Whacked in Turkey, landed in Syria.

            Just like the Syrian Su-24 Israel WHACKED.

            • Before the bombers had the time to turn around, they would be already hit by an 40N6.
              The yanks financed with “just” 5 billion bucks the overthrow of the legitimate elected government of Ukraine, as “fuck the EU” 0& proudly bragged.
              I wonder what would happen if some foreign ambassador would incite public unrest over the pond, or even in wEu, for “spreading democracy”, or “sexual minorities rights”.

              • LMAO!!!!

                Failed math I see.

                Cruise missiles are launched OUTSIDE the range of SAM’s.

                That’s the WHOLE POINT of their use….

                You just keep on wondering there, sparky….

        • Turkey has no jamming capabilities and also does not have any B1-Bs. Unless you’re referring to US attacking Russia unprovoked…

          • Wrong again!

            The TuAF DOES have ECM capabilities.

            See those nifty little pods they carry on the C/L of the F-16’s?
            Or the ELTA pods the F-4’s carry?

        • I don’t think you really understand the idea behind a SAM network. With the Slava and the S-400 battery working together in conjunction with the jets and EWR’s at Latakia, any B-1B would be a burning pile of exotic metals before it could get in range of the airbase or the SAM battery. The only way to take on those assets would be with a full-spectrum strike on Latakia. SEAD, fighter cover, ECM support and then the actual strike force. If you believe the US or any other Western nation would launch such an attack, you are clearly delusional.

          • You clearly don’t understand IADS and SEAD/DEAD tactics used against them.

            A B-1B would be on it’s way home, when ALL the cruise missiles it launched whack a SAM site…

            A few Turkish F-4’s carrying AGM-142 Popeye’s or any other SOM can do the job.

            You are clearly delusional.

          • In fact I do understand. The notion of burning B-1Bs is a Russian fanboi’s fantasy, but reality is another matter.

        • _If_ the B1B gets near enough to launch it (S400 will shoot it down
          faster than the JASSM is able to approach the target), _and if_ it’s
          lucky enough to _get_ near the target (“Three missiles apparently missed
          the target area entirely and one hit pay dirt but failed to detonate
          properly”), _and evade_ the local defenses (including S400’s 9M96s, and
          The S400 complex doesn’t have just one easily jammable radar. Rest assured, the russians have enough redundancy built in.

          Building weapons, with great specs on paper, and for the highest possible profits on taxpayers costs doesn’t guarantee military victories.

          • Wrong again, comrade….

            JASSM and JASSM-ER have a range between 200-500 NM.

            Then there’s the Tomahawk, the SLAM-ER, Storm Shadow….

            Against an S-400’s SUPPOSEDLY 400 km range…

            If it actually launches…



            Rest assured, Western air forces DECADES of SEAD/DEAD experience will deal with any IADS, as usual.

            Ask Israel about ALL the times they’ve SPANKED Syrian IADs….

            • Actually the failure footage is from a S300, 15 years ago.
              Spinning it as a S400, is typical nato troll FUD.
              Nice try – next time get your facts right.

          • JASSM outranges S-400 by a LONG ways. All 24 would be launched and the B-1B pilots headed home for dinner and the S-400 site still wouldn’t have detected them. JASSM has one of the lowest RCSs on the planet.

      • Considering those S-400’s have NEVER been used in actual combat, how would you know?

        There are these neat things called ECM, TRD’s, chaff/flares….

    • That demonstrate the. 100% intention of kill. If I want to repel an intruder from my airspace probably. I lock him with radar and then escort him from the airspace. No? At that airspeed, altitude and in a airspace without air to air threats it was” like shoot at the redcross”

      • 100% wrong.

        100% Russian nonsense….

        Explain the Russian actions of “I lease a base in Crimea, I INVADE Crimea.”.

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