Thursday, November 26, 2015


The consequences of an unprovoked attack on an aircraft usually result in some fairly drastic changes to air operations. I don't think Turkey really gave it any thought when they shot down a Russian aircraft going about its business in Syria. The Russians know that the stateless enemy in Syria has no meaningful air force but now Russia has been forced into deploying weapons designed to destroy NATO stealth aircraft at ranges of up to 250 kilometers. It's a fascinating mobile air defense system complemented by a Russian Air Defense cruiser off the Turkish coast.

I would like to congratulate Turkey and all their friends at the Combined Air Ops Center on bringing about the deployment of a missile system that will haunt the rest of their days in Syria. Every single aircraft that flies in that part of the world can fully expect to have that beast's fire control radars lock on at maximum range and remain locked on for the duration. Every military aircraft equipped with a threat warning receiver is going to freak out when that happens and they will never know if there is a missile riding the beam heading their way until it gets there.*

The intensity goes way up at the 3 minute mark. These were F16s engaged by Russian export version air defense systems in Iraq back in 1991. Thanks to Turkey, Russia will deploy their most modern air defense systems to Syria and turn every single NATO sortie over eastern Turkey and Syria or the eastern Mediterranean into a thrill ride. Way to go Turkey! 

*Yes, yes, we know. Beamriders are practically extinct and have been for decades but we're talking about Russia! Those little Russian land attack missiles last month were quite the surprise.

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