What happens the next time a Turkish warplane strays into Syrian airspace for 17 seconds? We don't know, but here's what could happen
Russia’s First Channel has released some striking television film of the arrival of the S400 anti aircraft missile complex at Russia’s Syrian air base.
The film shows the missiles and their mobile launchers being unloaded from AN124 transport aircraft at the base.
It also shows the S400 missiles deployed and ready for action, with the engagement radar nearby.
The film also provides glimpses of the Pantsir S1 point defence system already present at the base, and shows old film of the Moskva missile cruiser test firing its missiles.
The S400 system is the most advanced and powerful anti aircraft missile system in the world today.
The US and Israel have done everything in their power to prevent deployment of the much older S300 system to the Middle East.
As a result of Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian SU24 bomber, they must now face the reality that its far more advanced and powerful successor has been deployed instead.
It says volumes about the extent to which Turkey’s shooting down of the SU24 bomber has changed the political situation and put the Western powers diplomatically on the back foot that Western protests about Russia’s deployment of the S400 system have been muted.
The US embassy in Moscow did protest - a protest the Russians brushed aside - but Western governments and Western media have otherwise been very quiet about this deployment.
The deployment of the S400 system is a game changer.
It comes with a variety of different missiles with different ranges and guidance methods. It is not known which of these missiles has been deployed to Syria. However the missile with the longest range is believed to have a range of up to 400 km, enabling it to intercept aerial targets over parts of Turkey and Israel.
The Russians have provided assurances that the S400 system will only remain in Syria for as long as the Russian air operation is underway.
That may have been said to calm nerves in Washington and Israel. However so long as the S400 missile is present in Syria it acts as a huge deterrent - and potential defender - from any air threats from the US, Turkey, Israel or the other Western powers.
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