Work on installing a unified air defense control system in Syria will be finalized by October 20, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with members of Russia’s Security Council on Tuesday.
“As for the unified air defense control system, we have started to deliver the equipment and will fully complete all work on preparation and training of the crews, creation of a single network by October 20,” Shoigu said.
At the same time, the minister noted that Russia had delivered a total of 49 units of military equipment to Syria within the framework of the supplies of S-300 air defense systems aimed at boosting the security of the Russian military personnel in the war-torn country.
“We have completed the delivery of S-300 systems, which includes 49 units of equipment — radars, naturally, basic target acquisition systems, command posts and four launchers,” Shoigu said.
Speaking further, Shoigu said that Russian experts would teach Syrian personnel to operate S-300 air defense systems within three months.
According to the senior official, Russia has boosted its electronic warfare capability in Syria and monitors up to 200-km (124-mile) radius of airspace from where incursions had previously taken place.
“We have considerably strengthened electronic warfare capability. We dispatched additional equipment there. As a result, we control a short-range zone within a 50-km radius and a long-range zone — the main direction from where incursions were conducted — within a 200-km radius,” Shoigu said.
Earlier, Russia announced that it would provide Syria with the S-300 missile defense system as part of its response to the downing of a Russian Il-20 plane with 15 airmen onboard in Latakia. Moscow accused the Israeli Air Force of deliberately using the Russian aircraft as a shield during their attack on targets in Syria, which led to the plane’s accidental destruction by a Syrian air defense battery.