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US Defense Official: “We Are Not Sure If Any of Our Aircraft Can Defeat the S-300”


Obama administration has changed its decision to strike Syrian government installations from the air due to the deployment of the Russian S-300 long range surface-to-air missile systems in Syria.

US Defense Official:  “We Are Not Sure If Any of Our Aircraft Can Defeat the S-300”

Russian S-300 long range surface-to-air missile system (Photo: ekonomskevesti.com)

US officials are not sure that they have any aircraft, capable to defeat the Russian S-300 long range surface-to-air missile systems, deployed in Syria, the Washington Post newspaper reported, citing sources in the US Department of Defense.

As the newspaper noted, military experts have some disagreement over the capability of the Russian S-300 systems. However, at the same time, an unnamed US Defense official said that “the reality is, we’re very concerned anytime those are emplaced.” He also noted that the US has never tested neither its touted ability to target low-flying aircraft, or to counter US stealth technology.

“It’s not like we’ve had any shoot at an F-35,” the official said of the next-generation US fighter jet. “We’re not sure if any of our aircraft can defeat the S-300.”

According to the newspaper, Obama administration decision to strike Syrian government installations from the air has been made even less likely than it has been for years by the Russia’s completion of an integrated air defense system in Syria. Both US presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, have also advocated that the systems have created a substantial obstacle to the Syrian safe zones.

The article pointed out that thanks to deployment of mobile and interchangeable S-400 and S-300 systems, along with other short-range systems, now “Russia has the ability to shoot down planes and cruise missiles over at least 250 miles in all directions from western Syria,” as well as to cover practically all the territory of the country and significant parts of Jordan, Israel, Turkey and the eastern Mediterranean.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry noted that Russia has raised “the stakes of confrontation,” placing the missiles as a threat “against military action” by other countries in Syria.

US Defense Official:  “We Are Not Sure If Any of Our Aircraft Can Defeat the S-300”

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  • Lord Humongous


  • ZoA

    South Front will you be making any reports about this:


    This entire afar is being completely suppressed by all western media. Despite being massive no major publication is willing to cover it.

    • panzer kamp in the usa

    • trid2bnrml

      Thank you, you beat me to it.

    • Jeremy Cordon

      Millions of views… it was on RCP, Drudge, Brietbart, and Fox news. This is more of a Russian geopolitical war site.

  • chris chuba

    I hate to say it but I could see how the Pentagon would be tempted to launch a couple of JASSM missiles at some target in Syria just to test the S-300.

    From the specs, it looks like the S300-V and S400 have some lighter weight missiles which I presume are less expensive for the purpose of intercepting cruise missiles like the JASSM. Those systems use missiles that are less than 1,000lb as opposed to the S300 which uses missiles between 3,000 – 4,000lb

    • Jesus

      The Russians do not have to fire S300 at a couple of cheapo cruise missiles, let the EW do the work, and if somehow the JASSM manages to stay on the target shoot a salvo of TOR missiles and shoot them down. The implication for such a move is that Russia can retaliate against the airfields used by the ircraft that fired the JASSM.

      • trid2bnrml

        Exactly – why settle for a toe, when you can wait and get the whole foot? It’s not like American’s don’t get over-confident or anything…

      • chris chuba

        The JASSM is classified as ‘semi-stealth’. The U.S. might be tempted to test Russia’s stealth capabilities. Do all cruise missiles need GPS? I forgot the technology but I thought that some could just go to a fixed point target without GPS which is good enough to attack an airfield but would not be re-programmable in flight.

        • Jesus

          The latest technology on cruise missiles guidance involves active radar homing, whereby you can position the cruise missile in the proximity of the target, then an onboard radar searches the target, finds it, and locks on it. The activation of the radar makes it succeptible to be identified and ECM can de deployed against it, or it can be shot down.

      • Richard M

        The JASSM has internal guidance capability. EW is useless in this mode.

        • Jesus

          JASSM relies on GPS, inertial navigation and automatic target recognition.

          • Richard M

            It actually can use either.

          • Richard M

            No. GPS is only used for in-flight correction, and that is optional.

  • Vincent P P

    it is a wise decision, not to impose a nato no fly zone over syria,as syria and russia have capabilities to destroy stealth aircraft,if british attemp to shot down russian syrian aircraft with their supperor air to air missles ,the 300 or 400 would make it a costly ,and last thing they would ever do,the russian no fly zone has teeth yours dont.my opinion is that the support of terror by west and us via turkey,saudis qutaries, others god will not bless ,and for a long season the us,and others shall fail as christians are butchered by saudis wahibie fanatics.

    • Nexusfast123

      Russia has been developing testing new air to air missiles that will be very effective.

    • hhabana

      The British Government Extremely stupid. Mohammed most popular name there and those morons are bothering the Syrian government. They will get theirs in time.

    • Kevin Fazlic

      Russia yes, syria no. Syria couldnt shoot down a f4 in a dogfight let alone a f15 or f22 lol

  • Leo Smith

    yeboi, u better keep arming those nutjobs, later see how ur airliners start falling in the eu

    • Ace

      That never seems to cross their minds.

  • hawaiiguy

    Bless you Russia, let’s see how far US game of chicken will go?

  • Nexusfast123

    Russia must be ultra vigilant as they are up against people devoid of morality and respect. According to some media the US has parked lots of assets on the island in the Indian ocean.

  • Jeremy Cordon

    Nice to avoid nuclear war. I was halfway through digging the bunker backyard.

    • Filip Střízek

      :-) Not Czech republic too !

    • Ted

      Jeremy if it comes to Nukes Utah will get its fair share! You can count on at least 100 kt for Hill AFB and a good honest 250 KT for Dougway! I would also say that the NSA facility would merit an additional 150 to 250 kt. So about 20 to 25 times of what was dropped on Japan! Because there is a Mountain range between Dougway and ATK/Thyakol it would probably also get a 100 or so KT of its own. If you are in the north not a good place to be.

    • Sen Uasrit

      In case of Armaggeddon, I’ll be in my bunker.I have collected enough food and water for 6 months. I think I’ll survive together with a few animals like the hibernating bears and most of the World’s politicians.But the holoi poloi who normally gave their votes to the politicians would not be around.Most of them would have been fried alive to death.

  • My friends in NATO told me years ago about an air exersies done inside of Europe, this was about 5 or 6 years ago if I remember correctly. One of the countries involved was Hungry or some other ex-Soviet member.
    Anyway, they brought along an older variant of the S-300, but not to old.
    They told me it was the first time NATO got to exersies planes surviving and suppressing an S-300 system.
    The results were mixed they told me, as my friends piloted several F-16’s, 1 F-15 and 1 Harrier plane.
    They told me the S-300 was pretty resilient, but only in the hands of very experienced users.
    Another words, if the users of the more updated S-300 systems are very adept to what they are doing, then the S-300 is absolutely going to bring down F-16’s.
    However if the users are trained but not really experienced from extensive drill’s and test, then the system will probably be defeated.
    However, I have no knowledge of it’s effectiveness against the F-22. As none of my friends flew an F-22 Raptor.

    • john mason

      I was there in a F18 and the S300 will down all targets plus all Russian technicians operating these systems are highly trained.

      • I have full confidence in Russians yes.
        I am not as certain to Syria. Syria has their own slightly older variant of the S-300.
        I do not know how competent the Syrians will be with their copy.
        I also wonder how competent the Iranians will be with their brand new copies.
        Iranians are usually very proficient in most things, but this has yet to be tested or proven in ground to air missiles.
        Please tell me, were any F-22’s tested at that time? I do not recall asking my friends, so I do not know.
        I know the F-22 will loose to the S-400, but I am curious as to your expertise on the F-22 vs the S-300 newer variants.

        • john mason

          Russian technicians are in Iran training the Iranians on the S400.
          The real issue that is overlooked is the S500, even though Russia says it is not yet operable, the truth is different. F22 or 35 are sitting ducks for SU34/35 or the new MIG35. Updated MIG29 will also pose a problem. The T50 that are in service (4) is the ultimate and pose a major threat to NATO.
          S300 will down anything that comes within range, including F22.
          F22 were tested but I can’t disclose the result.

        • Kevin Fazlic

          Cant be to good, israel has been bombing syria at will for years.

          • Joseph Scott

            Actually, I don’t believe Syria has any S-300s. If they do, they just got them. The majority of the Syrian air defence net is old S-75s from 1957, even older than the S-125 the Serbians used to shoot down an F-117.

            Also, Israel vs. Syria really isn’t a good measure of a system’s effectiveness. Operator skill matters far more than equipment. The Israelis have some of the very best pilots in the world. Much better than US pilots. For example, the last time I am aware of the US and Israel conducting aerial wargames, The IAF was flying against a USN Carrier Air Wing, and the kill score was 200-0 in favour of the Israelis. Meanwhile, the Syrians are on the low end of Arab forces. They are better than the Saudis and Iraqis, but worse than just about everybody else there. The last time Syria and Israel engaged in major combat operations in the Bekua Valley in 1982, the casualty-per-person exchange ratio was something on the order of 7 or 8 to 1 in favour of the Israelis.

            Yes, the Israelis could probably do whatever they wanted operating against Syrian air defence, regardless of what the Syrians have, but that tells you little about systems, or about Russians vs. Americans.

          • chris chuba

            The Syrians might not have S300’s but the Russians in Syria have both S3/400’s. The Russians also have S400’s on their missile ships located off the Syrian coast. The Russians also have S300-SV’s which are specialized for taking out cruise missiles.

          • Joseph Scott

            Yes, I was simply pointing out that past Israeli operations over Syria had little to do with what Americans would face today, because Russians are both much better trained and fielding much better equipment, and because Americans are not as well trained as Israelis. Hence, while the Israelis could once operate with impunity, Americans would be unlikely to be able to accomplish missions at all in the face of the attrition rate sustained.

          • Sen Uasrit

            Russia says Syrian air defence has been updated recently.So, Israel is aware of this.At any rate Syria had Soviet era weapons which have poor precision.

        • Joseph Scott

          Will, first, F-22s aren’t really that stealthy. They are classed Low Observable, which means they are actually less stealthy than the old F-117s, which were Very Low Observable. And you saw how well they fared against Serbians and S-125s. So the F-22 is definitely going to be detected and engaged.

          However, the F-117 paid for VLO with a lousy flight profile. An F-22 will be able to manoeuvre much better against missile threats. It’s smaller signature and better manoeuvre will give it better survival odds than say, an F-16 Block 50, but ironically, due to budget cuts, space limitations and the age of the design, the F-22 has inferior avionics and flight controls to the same F-16 Block 50. The F22 has no innate ECM. It’s limited to carrying the same old wing-mounted jamming pods as any other US fighter. So no advantage there.

          All things considered, an F-22 might have say 60% better odds of survival than an F-16 Block 50, based on it’s signature and manoeuvrability, given equally skilled pilots.

    • Ted

      Greece is the NATO member that operates S-300, it would be an export version, I would guess it differs to some degree from Russian systems. How much who knows?

  • john mason

    Stop calling the Assad Government a ‘regime’, it is not an authoritarian system but a non-secular, democratic government.

    • Jens Holm

      REGIME – REGIME – REGIME. This is not a State. Its a forner French protectorat going made by own reasons.

      Majority tribe rule. Look more and more like the Bagdad regime, which inly real connection to the north are free oil – if posible – and no sharing.

  • Rick0Shea

    I distinctly remember Obama stating that he was not concerned that Iran had S-300s… he claimed the US could ‘deal’ those and bomb Iran regardless. Very remarkable that as far as we know, Russia has never fired their S-x00’s in anger however Russian SA 3s have taken out many military planes in the past including a F 117A stealth fighter (Yugoslavia) – you would assume S-300s and S-400 are much more lethal.

    • Ted

      Yes you are correct. He (Obama) did state that. The S-300 is a very capable air defense system. While it may play a part in the decision making process it is no where near the factor this story makes it out to be. Its myth probably exceeds its true capabilities. Much like the “stealth” LRCS aircraft are made out to be invisible? Maybe to a blind man?? The same can be seen in the story of the F 117 that was downed. This story not only points out how valuable “stealth” can be, it also illustrates it is not magic. There are no magic bullets or systems that make it a one sided show. This has been for the greater good for a long time. When that is forgotten, when people start to believe in the hype they may think they can act with out paying the price. We don’t want to be there.

  • Filip Střízek

    Very good !!! USSA go to hell.

  • gustavo

    Just try it, and we will see.

  • John

    I think, if the shooting starts in earnest ( it´s already been gong on ), the price will be extremely high for everybody. However, NATO has no stomach for this price while Russia does not want it either but, they have made their move and are waiting. Nobody will be smiling when it is over.

  • John Bull

    The US will never win a toe to toe non-nuclear war with Russia. Look at what happened in that puny Battle for Iraq–Army maintenance chicks got in trouble because they aren’t soldiers and good Marines died rescuing these oxygen thieves. Now with the all inclusive military do you actually think America’s emasculated military is going be able live on field rations for months, cold, wet and miserable, no Burger King, no Starbucks, no Xbox, no Internet and no cell phone like they have now? Today’s generation of kids? And here we find out that the US will not have Air Superiority? Good news for the sane.

  • sólyomszem

    The S300 and S400 are very good systems. But! There is no undefeatabble system. Such sentences remember me the CNN propaganda in 1991: “are we able to destroy Saddams big army?”. So, if the americans want, they surely destroy this sytem in Tartus. But then are at war with Rssia.