At the end of September, Russia delivered S-300PM air defense systems to Syria. Although these have not yet been used in combat, they have attracted much attention from the international media.
On Wednesday, a Vietnamese portal reported that US and Israeli military personnel had secretly visited Ukraine to study systems similar to the S-300 missiles that are in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
In particular, the edition said that in the maneuvers in Ukraine was the participation of 18 F-15C Eagle fighters, manned by Israeli pilots. The aim would be for them to know the capabilities of the S-300s and collect information that the Israeli Defense Forces could later use in Syria.
But Andrei Kots explains why the information in the Vietnamese media does not seem to correspond to reality.
Firstly, the Vietnamese author Khang Minh in reporting on the alleged visit refers to the Russian media, but in fact, no Russian edition wrote about it.
For their part, Kiev and Washington admit that the F-15C were deployed to Ukraine, but clarify that the aircraft arrived on October 6 to participate in the Clear Sky 2018 maneuvers. The training involved 8 European countries but not Israel, added Kots.
Second, it is unclear why the military chose F-15C fighters because they were manufactured between 1979 and 1989 and are not the best “adversary” for the S-300PM systems.
The analyst notes that the Israeli Army has only 17 F-15C fighters and these are not the newest model at its disposal. For example, Israel could have opted for the F-35Is, designed to overcome air defense systems.
If we take into account that the Ukrainian missile systems cannot be equated with the current Russian systems, the meaning of the supposed visit becomes even less clear.
Military analyst Milhail Khodartenok notes that the S-300s of Ukraine were produced before 1991. They were the first models and since then the weapon has changed dramatically in Russia.
Moreover, Israeli pilots do not need to fly over Ukrainian territory to test systems, since a modern aircraft is able to record the frequencies that armaments use even without entering their range.
In conclusion, the author of the article recalls that Ukraine is not the only country to own S-300, there are several. Moreover, the Israeli military has already had the opportunity to study the capabilities of the S-30 during the joint maneuvers in the 1990s with Greece.
“After all, it is unlikely that Israeli pilots would waste time doing a historical reconstruction with the S300PT and the F-15C,” concludes Kots.
In early October, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Moscow had completed the delivery of 49 components of the S-300 air defense system to Syria. This measure was taken after the accidental overthrow of a Russian military aircraft by Syrian anti-aircraft batteries. The aircraft was allegedly used as a shield by the Israeli Air Force and the incident killed 15 military personnel on board.