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Great Interview on the Il-20 Shootdown With a Russian Air Defense Colonel

Komsomolskaya speaks to Lieutenant-Colonel Viktor Khaustov, who is a deputy commander of an anti-aircraft missile regiment, and served a tour in Syria himself

- What in your opinion, as a professional, could be the cause of the error of the Syrian air defense that brought down our IL-20?

- There is in aviation such a tricky reception - "air camouflage". It seems that the Israelites used it. They gathered over our huge IL-20 on top of a sort of "stack", because of which the marks from both our reconnaissance aircraft and the Israeli F-16 merged. And the Syrian S-200 could not strike at them at that moment, since the "own-alien" identification system, sewn into the brains of anti-aircraft missile systems, did not allow it. But this system is only set up to prevent the rocket from launching on its own, but when it is already released, it can not be re-targeted.

However, the rocket itself is so arranged that its homing head catches a stronger signal. And the IL-20 reflecting the surface is much larger than that of the fighter. Naturally, the missile grabs the most powerful target and goes to it .

And then when the Israeli fighters changed course, on the screen of the C-200 there were marks of "stranger". And the Syrian air defense opened fire. Here, I am sure, our plane and ran into a "friendly" missile.

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In addition, do not forget that the S-200 is an old weapon. And the training of Syrian air defense specialists, to put it mildly, often leaves much to be desired ...

- By the way, does our Il have a system warning of a missile attack from the ground or from the air?

- Of course have.

- Why then did our Il not make an anti-missile maneuver, at least?

- And how do you imagine such a maneuver of a huge airy machine? In which the area of ​​only one wing is 14 square meters! This is not a fighter that can tinker away and escape from the enemy's rocket ...

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In any case, the perpetrators of the tragedy are the Israelis. They provoked her. And they must bear responsibility for this.

- And how do you picture it?

- Simply ritual statements, of course, will be too little. Our loyalty was dismissed by the Israelis! In a day they freely invade the airspace of sovereign Syria . And when we are asked, why our air defense in Syria allowed this, we somehow answer that we cover only our bases Khmeimim, Tartous and our own naval group in the Mediterranean. 

After this tragedy, it would be logical to declare that we close the sky of Syria from uninvited guests and we will knock them down as enemy planes. In this case, of course, to close the space over Syria we would need a three times denser concentration of air defense systems.

Well, as for the armies and their allies, we allowed them to fly only in strictly defined zones and they do not yet poke their nose into other areas.

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"But they say that we had such a deal with the Israelis as well?"

- Yes there is. Israelis bypass our facilities. They mainly "hammer"  their enemy - "Hezbollah", but at the same time they strike not only military but also civilian Syrian targets. There are already a lot of sacrifices. It is time to put them in their place.

- What kind of plane is it, IL-20?

"Oh, I can tell you about it all day!" Both in the school, and in the academy passed the exams. Yes, and in Syria in the "womb" climbed ... But briefly, it is a plane of electronic intelligence and electronic warfare.

It is equipped with an infrared scanner, optical sensors. There is also a lateral radar.

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There is a station of detailed electronic intelligence "Kvadrat-2" and radio intercept equipment "Cherry". At our VKS such planes of pieces 20. And all of them have passed a deep modernization. Our "Ilyusha" have well proven themselves in Syria, coordinating the attacks of the Russian Air Force on terrorists.

He also has another unique "chip" - he can correct the flight of the cruise missiles "Caliber" when they approach the target ... Do you remember the launch of our missiles from the water area of ​​the Caspian Sea? Their attacks would be less accurate, if not for the high-class work of the IL-20 operators. I will say more. Our ground-attack planes and bombers are precisely reaching the target, also with the help of IL-20 equipment. But enemy locators do not see them at this time, its anti-aircraft missile systems simply do not observe anything on their screens, thanks to the operation of the radio-electronic countermeasure equipment installed on our reconnaissance aircraft ...

What else? Still, the IL-20 has four powerful engines. They can provide the aircraft with a speed of up to 700 kilometers per hour. Empty it weighs somewhere under 34 tons. Can climb to a height of 10 kilometers ...

- What tasks could our Il-20 solve in the eastern part of the city, where he died?

- Such a universal machine is capable of solving many problems - from opening the air situation to jamming ...

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- Information has already leaked that the IL-20 allegedly tried to minimize the effectiveness of Israeli missile attacks on Latakia. Where are our military facilities?

- I do not exclude that it had such a task.

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