MAJOR: Russian S-500 system passed tests in Syria; Russian defense comments on reports

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MOSCOW – According to media reports, tests of the Russian S-500 air defense system were successfully completed in Syria, however, the Russian Ministry of Defense did not comment on the matter.

The most important elements of the Prometei S-500 air defense system were tested in Syria, Izvestia newspaper reported .

During tests, experts identified “some problems” in the operation of the equipment, but they were quickly resolved.

The retired deputy commander of the Russian Aerospace Force , Lieutenant General Aitech Bizhev, noted that during the tests there is special attention to the proper functioning of all components of the equipment.

According to him, the systems “were tested under extreme technical and climatic conditions and worked fully [despite] wear and tear”.

Later, the Russian Defense Ministry commented on reports to the Izvestia newspaper. According to the ministry, there is no need to test or use the S-500 systems in Syria.

“The S-500 is intended for the fight against ballistic and aerodynamic targets over long distances. There was no need to test and especially to use the S-500 systems on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic,” the Russian ministry said.

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The ministry noted that Russian anti-aircraft defense in Syria, which includes the S-400, Pantsir-S, TOR-M2 and Su-35S fighters, operates across the full range of altitudes and speeds.

The technical specifications of the S-500 systems remain secret, however, the systems are reported to be capable of destroying targets over 600 kilometers apart and tracking and hitting up to 10 ballistic targets at a speed of up to seven kilometers per second (Mach 20).

On October 2, 2018, Moscow handed over the S-300 systems to Damascus in an attempt to increase the security of Russian troops in the Middle East.

Southern Military District S-300 Favorit surface-to-air missile systems during military exercises with the 4th Air and Air Defense Army at the Ashuluk Polygon in the Astrakhan region.

The ruling was in response to an incident where the Syrian air defense accidentally shot down a 15-man Russian Il-20 aircraft while repelling an Israeli air strike.

On the occasion, Moscow accused Israel of using the Russian aircraft as a shield during attacks against Syrian targets. Tel Aviv, in turn, denied the allegations, stating that it had alerted Moscow about the air strike in the region.

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