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 freelance 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. “It is no secret that Turkish planes regularly enter Syrian territory to bomb the Kurds. Perhaps it would be proper now to see some of these aircraft falling out of the sky, shot down by air defense facilities provided by Moscow, or even Russian fighters charged with protecting Syrian airspace.”

    And, if Russia does not want to take the risks that this imposes, it is possible, for instance, to transfer modern Russian armaments to the Syrian Kurdish forces. These weapons would a) create problems for the Turkish military operating in Syrian territory, and b) may find themselves in the hands of the Turkish Kurds working closely with their Syrian counterparts.”

    Source: Sputniknews

    note: Considering the source of this interesting view on the currently extremely volatile situation, the russians are indirectly telling the Turks – “you may look as much as you want, but your pilots wont see us coming when we decide to take them out.”

  2. Turks shot down a Russian bomber and Isis celebrates and kills the pilot. Protecting terrorists by the border and they know that. WTF you gave Isis a win Turkey.

    • If you looked into the matter a little more attentively, you’d notice that ISIS has nothing to do with anything.

    • WTF. Pay attention.

      They were anti-government rebels.

      Considering those pilots were just bombing those rebels, you can expect they’d be a LITTLE ticked off….

    • Not really : for sure 100% of all russians, since 90% of their land based missiles gona be intercepted o the edge of russian sky (selfbomabardament?! ) and they have no usable submarines in real war scenario since all, I mean all the very few russian tactical submarines are easily tracked by nato since ” red october hunt” book time…

  3. I would argue Russia still needs to deploy more Su-30s and possibly Su-35 to achiev air superiority over Syrian airspace ,Yes S 400 missiles system is deadly , but also you need to have air superiority jets that can engage dogfights if need be.Some reports suggest Russians have deployed more Su-30s and Su-27s after Turkey shot down their attack fighter jet, but I do not still have confirmataion

    • 48 su35 is the total number officialy planned in production till 2020: we can speculate they have 20 now : less then 1/10th of usa f22!..Furthermore sukhoys with their huge rcs and horrible supersonic performances, both in engine regime and most of all horrible STR in supersonic, make them possible to fight only in subsonic: they are designed for wvr combat, and from at least 20 years everyone get killed in wvr scenario,both aggressors and defenders…Preistoric warplane design….

      • Wrong, 15 Su35 (ex Su27M) were delivered. I guess you wanted to mean
        Su35S, of which 40 are delivered, and further 48 were ordered.
        Yanks have 187 F22. Even under the first (false) assumption, 20/187 is not “less then 1/10th”. Also lacking elementary school arithmetic skills, aside from getting right the facts?

Comments are closed.