Israel and the US have sent a secret military delegation to Ukraine to train against and test Russian-made S-300 missile defense systems, which Moscow recently provided to Syria, according to multiple reports circulating in Israeli media.
According to reports, servicemen of the Ukrainian military instructed their US and Israeli counterparts on the capabilities of the air defense system as well as allowed US and Israeli specialists to test it in various possible scenarios.
According to some reports, F-15 warplanes are now training in Ukraine against the S-300 in the framework of the Clear Sky 2018 international exercise that includes Israeli and US pilots. It wasn’t immediately clear if the Israeli pilots were flying or merely observing from the ground. However, on October 16, a US pilot and his Ukrainian counterpart died in a crash of the Ukrainian SU-27 warplane.
Since the delivery of the S-300 systems to Syria last month, the Israeli Air Force has carried out no airstrikes on targets in the war-torn country. However, the Israeli leadership has repeatedly vowed that the strikes would be continued. Thus, it’s highly likely that the Israeli military is now preparing for a first military action in the new enviroment.