Equipment intended to interrupt radar, navigation of attacking aircraft and satellite-guided weapons; Moscow said planning to ship up to eight S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Assad.
An Israeli Air Force F-16, front, and F-15, rear, prepare to take off from the Ovda airbase near Eilat, southern Israel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Russian electronic warfare equipment intended to disrupt airstrikes has arrived in Syria as Moscow moves rapidly to boost air defenses for its ally Damascus, according to Russian media reports Tuesday.
After a Russian plane was shot down by Syrian air defenses last week as they tried to repel an Israeli airstrike, Moscow said it would provide Syria with its advanced S-300 missile system as well as send jamming technology to the region, a move that has alarmed Israel and the US.
According to the Moscow-based Izvestia daily newspaper, the electronic warfare equipment arrived at Hmeimim Air Base near Latakia on Monday, aboard Il-76 transport aircraft. The paper cited sources familiar with the delivery.
Without detailing exactly what was sent, the sources noted that the systems were intended to disrupt airborne radar, aircraft communication and controls and satellite navigation systems used in attack jets, drones and guided munitions.
Operators will be able to project a protective “radioelectonic dome” over hundreds of kilometers over Syria and along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the report said.
Hmeimim is the main air base used by Russian forces in Syria supporting the regime in its battle to end the country’s civil war. It is the base at which the Ilyushin Il-20 plane was attempting to land when it was brought down by the Syrian defenses, killing all 15 crewmen.