FRN has just viewed reports from an Israeli private satellite intelligence firm, which they have also shared elements of on their public twitter, to the effect that Venezuela is already in possession of S-300 batteries, and has deployed them during this time of heightened tensions.
At face value, the reports made by private intelligence firms, as all intelligence reports, can be part of a misinformation campaign, or disinformation campaign. What is the necessary to perform is a search for Russian commentary and reportage on the same. As a result, FRN is of the strong opinion that indeed Venezuela is in possession of, and has deployed, S-300 systems to thwart off the potential U.S aerial attacks, for which it is infamously known. The S-300 is a proven-effective system, especially when equipped with upgrades, it is effective against 4th and 5th generation fighters and bombers.
iSi #Intelligence Summary – https://t.co/FWqmIYSdJP#Venezuela: A month of military preparations. Will there be a confrontation?
***#ISI shows a parallel between the beginning of the crisis in Venezuela and the heightened #alert in the #military‘s #S300 unit.#Satellite #space pic.twitter.com/yoYNVmdnUR
— ImageSat Intl. (@ImageSatIntl) March 25, 2019
#Followup: #Venezuela has put the #S300 into #operational readiness, after conducting drills in February 2019 (as reported previously by #ISI).#Colombia #intelligence #Satellite #military #defence #defense #MaduroRegime #Update #imagery pic.twitter.com/JerkoIcozn
— ImageSat Intl. (@ImageSatIntl) March 24, 2019
ISI tracked and imaged the first #operational voyage of the new #Russian frigate #AdmiralGorshkov, while it’s crossing the #Suez Canal but not transmitting #AIS. Here’s the full report: https://t.co/bET8kiqeU0#ISI #Kingfisher #SnapTasking #Maritime #Intelligence #AI pic.twitter.com/zeGND6mViv
— ImageSat Intl. (@ImageSatIntl) March 21, 2019
Nicolás Maduro’s government is said to have deployed an S-300 anti-missile battery in Venezuela that it bought from the Russian government, Israeli defense consultancy ImageSat International reported on Sunday.
The Israeli consultant captured satellite images on March 20th that would reveal that the anti-missile shield entered operations at the Capitán Manuel Ríos air base near Caracas after the military trials for the Angostura Bicentennial, held between February 10th and 15th. FRN has corroborated that such trials took place at that day, but does not have information regarding the presence of S-300s.
The image published on the Twitter account of ImageSat International (See above) shows 5 S-300VM missile launchers, in addition to a 9s32ME radar system.
These are proven highly effective in taking down all known U.S fighters and many high-altitude bombers, especially when they are in a more prone, lower altitude position required to evade radar and similar altitude detection systems.
In its most modern version, the S-300VM is able to act autonomously and shoot down ballistic missiles at distances of up to 155 miles.
Likewise, the S-300VM includes a system of detection and designation of objectives composed of a command post, a radar and up to four systems of long and medium range anti-aircraft missiles that can attack up to 6 targets simultaneously.
The Israeli reports regarding the possession and deployment of the S-300 are highly credible, even if specific information as to their deployment locations is incorrect.
According to our research, the website of Sputnik World interviewed the military expert Igor Korotchenko, director of the Center for the Analysis of World Trade in Arms based in Moscow, who said that the that Russians gave S-300’s to Venezuela several years ago. The Atlantic Council also, in 2010, republished an RIA (Russian state media) report indicating that such a transfer would take place.
“The Antey-2500 anti-aircraft systems, which is the exportable version of the S-300VM, were delivered to Venezuela a few years ago and were exhibited several times during the military parades in that country,” said Korotchenko.
For its part, a Russian military-diplomatic source said that “Russia and Venezuela have not signed any contract for the supply of anti-aircraft systems S-300 in recent years” (emphasis our own).
“In recent times contracts have not been signed for the supply of air defense systems S-300 to Venezuela, Russia delivered those systems to Caracas still in 201 3,” the source told Sputnik, (emphasis our own).
The deployment of the S-300 anti-missile battery in Caracas comes amid a strong political tension in which the president of the United States , Donald Trump has not ruled out a possible military intervention in Venezuela.
The Russian statements which consistently underscore that no S-300 transactions have taken place ‘in recent times’ would not rule out the 2010 transaction period, given that this would not be considered ‘recent times’. That the Russian statements are made with this specific caveat, in combination with confirmed reports that this transaction took place, lends high credibility to the claim that Venezuela already has S-300’s.