A Fortress to be Reckoned With: How Russia's Airbase in Syria is Protected

© Sputnik / Dmitry Vinogradov / Go to the photo bankThe S-400 on combat duty in Latakia, ensuring the safety of the Russian air group.
The S-400 on combat duty in Latakia, ensuring the safety of the Russian air group. - Sputnik International
The air defense of the Hmeymim air base in Syria, where the Russian air force is based, is sheltered by four-tiers of Russian and Syrian air defenses.

Syrian army artillery soldiers in Idlib province in northwestern Syria. (File) - Sputnik International
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The outer-most area of the Russian airbase is guarded by the S-400 Triumph and C-200VE Vega anti-aircraft missile systems. The middle part is protected by the Moskva and Varyag S-300 Fort missile cruisers.

The short-range Osa-AKM and the C-125 Pechora-2M anti-aircraft systems have also been deployed for the protection of the base. Finally, the Pantsir-S1 combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon missile complex covers the main object at the airbase: the airfield itself and S-400.

All of this is a part of an international defense group. The S-200 Vega anti-aircraft missile system has been removed from service in Russia, Pechora is also available exclusively for export and Syria has bought 18 Buk-M2E in 2011medium-range systems.

According to some open sources, the current formation of the air defense complex was formed at the air base in November 2015 — just after the Russian Su-24 bomber was shot down over the territory of Syria by a missile released from a Turkish fighter jet.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and US Secretary of State John Kerry talk before a conference on the Syria conflict in Vienna, Austria, on November 14, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Furthermore, in order to protect the air base from air and space reconnaissance, Krasuha-4 has been deployed. It is ideal for evading spy satellites, ground-based radars and airborne systems. Features of the complex are classified, but according to open sources Krasuha can turn off all the existing types of radars and intercept control drones. The system can function at a range of over 300 kilometers.

If that wasn't enough, the airbase is further guarded by the marines and T-90 Vladimir tanks. According to experts, these tanks are ideal for the defense of a stationary object in the desert.

The T-90 in comparison with the T-72 has improved defense equipments; it is modern and integrated with the innovative technologies and automatic loader. The installed fire control system of the tanks surpasses any in the world. This allows the T-90 to hit any moving targets in any weather conditions.

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