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In September 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended shipments of the S-300 surface to air missile system to the Syrian regime after Israel showed their concerns of such a move, but Putin stated that if there were to be military interventions by the US and its allies against the Assad regime, then he would “think how we should act in the future.”

What is The S-300 Surface to Air Missile System?

The S-300, also known as the SA-20 by NATO is a vehicle mounted long range surface to air missile system that first came into service with the USSR in 1979 and has seen several updates and modifications in its life time to present day and is considered one of the most advanced surface to air missile systems in the world.

Its purpose is to target aircraft, ballistic missiles and drones, to defend military instillations on the ground.  The S-300 is designed and built by state owned company Almaz-Antei.

How Does the S-300 Surface to Air Missile System Work?

  1. The long-range surveillance radar tracks objects over a range of 300km (185 miles) and relays information to the command vehicle, which assesses potential targets
  2. A target is identified and the command vehicle orders the engagement radar to launch missiles
  3. Launch data is sent to the best placed of the battalion’s six launch vehicles and it releases two surface-to-air missiles
  4. The engagement radar helps guide the missiles towards the target. It can guide up to 12 missiles simultaneously, engaging up to six targets at once

Specifications of the S-300 Surface to Air Missile System:

  • Each launcher vehicle carries four missile containers (two missiles per target). A full battalion includes six launcher vehicles with a total of 24 missiles, plus command-and-control and long-range radar detection vehicles
  • Fires two missiles vertically within 3 seconds, making it versatile and accurate
  • Russian 48N6E are the standard missiles fired from S-300PMU launchers. They have a range of 5-150km (3-93 miles) at a maximum altitude of 27-30km (17-19 miles).
  • Vehicle stopping to missile firing is five minutes

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