Russian Air Defense Shot Down More Than 100 Drones Near Hmeimim Airbase During Last Two Years: Report

Russian Air Defense Shot Down More Than 100 Near Hmeimim Airbase During Last Two Years: Report

According to Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov, Air defense and electronic warfare systems deployed at Russia’s Hmeymim air base in Syria have shot down or disabled over 100 drones during terrorists’ attempted attacks on the military facility over the past two years.

Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov revealed that most of the drones were launched from Idlib’s demilitarized zone, mainly from the towns of al-Lataminah, Khan Shaykhun.

“Terrorists are trying to break through the Hmeimim base’s air defenses. If we speak about figures, 118 unmanned aerial vehicles of terrorist groupings have been destroyed over the past two years, including 58 drones since January 1 this year,” the Russian general said, according to the Russian news agency, TASS.

Maj. Gen. Konashenkov added: “our Pantsir-S1 and Tor-M2 air defense missile systems also thwart terrorists’ attempts to deliver a strike with rockets. Since January 1, 2019, 27 rocket-propelled shells of terrorist groupings launched mostly from the Idlib security area have been destroyed.”

Only 31 missiles were used to shot down the 27 rockets. The general noted that this is close to a 1:1 success ratio.

According to Maj. Gen. Konashenkov, a layered air defense system, consisting of S-400, Pantsir-S1 and Tor-M2 systems, was set up in Hmeimim airbase.

“These capabilities allow the Russian military to strike all types of air targets at a range of 20 km to 250 km,” the general said.

Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and other al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in Greater Idlib are believed to be responsible for these repeated attacks on Hmeimim airbase.

The Russian general did not rule out that the temporary calm could be related to the liberation of Khan Sheikhoun and Al-Latamna in the Idlib de-escalation zone where workshops for assembling drones and sites for their launches were found, which was demonstrated to foreign journalists.

The air defense systems deployed at Russia’s Hmeymim military base in Syria can strike targets at a range of 250 km, the commander of the anti-aircraft missile regiment based at the airfield said on Thursday.

The air defense regiment’s tasks are to defend facilities on the territory of the Hmeymim air base and the Tartus naval facility against strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles and rocket shells, as well as against tactical aviation and cruise missiles, the commander specified.

“A layered air defense system has been set up here. It comprises S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile systems and Tor-M2 and Pantsyr-S1 short-range complexes,” he said.

These capabilities allow the Russian military to strike all types of air targets at a range of 20 km to 250 km, he specified.

“The Tor-M2 anti-aircraft missile system and the Pantsyr-S1 surface-to-air missile/gun complex effectively cope with the tasks of striking small-size unmanned aerial vehicles with a small radar cross section, and also fast-speed shells of factory-produced and improvised multiple launch rocket systems actively employed by terrorists,” the regiment commander said.

The radio-technical battalion’s radars, as well as the reconnaissance capabilities of the regiment’s command post and the anti-aircraft missile battalions gather all the data on the air situation, the commander said.

“Combat operations are controlled in the fully automated mode, from the time of detecting air objects and locking them on to the time of making a decision to destroy air targets,” the regiment commander said.

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