Russia Claims to have Shot Down More than 100 Terrorists’ Drones near Hmeymim Air Base over Past two Years

Thanks to S-400, Tor-M2 and Pantsyr-S1 capabilities the Russian military at Hmeymim can strike all types of air targets at a range of 20 km to 250 km.

Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov recently revealed that 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.

“Terrorists are trying to break through the Hmeymim 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 TASS most drones were launched from the Idlib security zone, in particular, from the communities of al-Latamna, Khan Sheikhoun and other areas, he said.

“Moreover, our Pantsyr-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,” the general added.

Konashenkov said that these 27 rockets were struck by 31 missiles of the Pantsyr-S1 and Tor-M2 surface-to-air missile systems.

A Russian Tor-M1 and an S-300V SAM

“That is, the striking efficiency is close to 1: one target, one missile,” the general stressed.

On Aug. 11, 2019 terrorists attempted a new massive air raid involving five attack unmanned aerial vehicles and one control drone, Konashenkov pointed out.

“That is, these five drones carried striking elements with explosives, bolts and bars to achieve the maximum destruction effect. One drone can carry up to 10 striking elements fasted to the wings,” he said.

The terrorists carried out the latest attack on the Hmeymim air base on Sep. 3.

“This raid involved two drones. Moreover, they approached the air base from different directions. Characteristically, one drone came from the area of the Mediterranean Sea. That is, apparently the drone was launched from a vessel,” the Defense Ministry spokesman said.

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.

Pantsyr-S1 Weapon System. In the Center the EHF phased-array tracking Radar. Two twin-barrel 2A38M automatic anti-aircraft guns and 12 ready to launch missile-containers each containing one 57E6-E command guided surface to air missile.

The air defense systems deployed at Russia’s Hmeymim military base in Syria are aimed to defend the airfield facilities 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 of the anti-aircraft missile regiment based at Hmeymim 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.

Thanks to S-400, Tor-M2 and Pantsyr-S1 capabilities the Russian military at Hmeymim can strike all types of air targets at a range of 20 km to 250 km, he explained.

“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.

Photo credit: Russian Defence Ministry, Vitaliy Ragulin and Vitaly V. Kuzmin via Wikipedia

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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