On August 5, Libyan sources shared images claiming to show an advanced S-300 long-range air-defense system in Libya.
The photos were supposedly taken near the town of Ras Lauf, a key oil export port controlled by the Libyan National Army (LNA). The town is located more than 200 km to the east of the town of Sirte, where LNA forces are preparing for an attack by Turkish-backed forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA)
The photos show a 96L6E Cheese Board radar and a transporter erector launcher (TEL) similar to those used in S-300 and S-400 air-defense systems.
— KRS (@alkaraisili) August 5, 2020
The 96L6E is a 3D early-warning and acquisition radar operating in C-Band designed to work with the S-300 and S-400 air-defense systems. The radar has a range of 300 km and can track up to 100 targets simultaneously.
The photos are yet to be verified by an independent side. They can be forged, taken in another country or even completely fake.
Last month, several Arab sources reported that an S-300 system was deployed in Libya. Egypt, an ally of the LNA, operates a variant of the system that is different from the one allegedly spotted near Ras Lanuf.
If confirmed, the presence of an S-300 or even an S-400 system could grant the LNA complete control of the skies over the frontline in Sirte. GNA forces, which relied on the support of Turkish combat drones during the recent battles, will lose their advantage.