On July 25, Oded Berkowitz, an Israeli Intelligence analyst, shared new satellite images showing what appears to be a to be a Tor air-defense system in al-Jufra Air Base in central Libya. The base is controlled by the Libyan National Army (LNA).
Libyan sources reported on July 7 that a Tor system was deployed in al-Jufra. The sources didn’t reveal the exact type of the system [M1 or 2] or identify its source.
Well hello there little green vehicles at Jufrah Airbase… pic.twitter.com/LGbE3Ip9m5
— Oded Berkowitz (@Oded121351) July 25, 2020
The Tor is an all-weather low to medium altitude, short-range surface-to-air missile system designed to engage planes, helicopters, cruise missiles, precision guided munitions, unmanned aerial vehicles and short-range ballistic threats.
The M1 version has an effective range of 12 km, while the M2’s range is 16 km. The system can carry between 8 to 16 missiles, guided by radio command.
The system recently gained fame after repelling numerous drone attacks on Russia’s Hmeimim Air Base in Syria. Chief of the Russian air defence forces Lieutenant General Alexander Leonov revealed in a recent interview that the system shot down 45 drones in Syria.
If the vehicle seen in the satellite images is indeed a Tor system, the most likely source will be the Egyptian Air Defense Forces (EADF). At least 16 Tor-M1\2 systems are in service with the EADF.
Egypt is the main backer of the LNA. Recently, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced that the city of Sirte and al-Jufra Air Base are a red line for the Egyptian military.
The presence of advanced air-defense systems like the Tor in al-Jufra will further complicate any attack by the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord on the base. A number of Pantsir-S1 systems provided by the UAE are already supporting the LNA.