Δευτέρα, 21 Φεβρουαρίου 2011

The Libyan SAM Network

The Libyan SAM Network
INTRODUCTION

Libya possesses one of the most robust air defense networks on the African continent, falling second only to Egypt in terms of coverage and operational systems. Libyan strategic SAM assets are primarily arrayed along the coastline, ostensibly defending the bulk of the Libyan population and preventing foreign incursion into Libyan airspace.

THE STRATEGIC SAM FORCE

Libyan strategic SAM assets are subordinate to the Air Defense Forces, which in turn are subordinate to the Libyan Air Force. Currently believed to be divided into five separate regional commands, the Air Defense Force operates a variety of Soviet-era equipment. The following strategic SAM systems are currently serving within the Libyan Air Defense Force: S-75 (SA-2 GUIDELINE), S-125 (SA-3 GOA), and S-200 (SA-5 GAMMON).

EW Coverage

Seventeen active and four inactive EW sites provide Libya's military with early warning radar coverage, used for SAM system target acquisition and track handoff, and GCI control of fighter units. These EW sites are located primarily along the western and eastern coastal regions, monitoring the airspace around Tripoli and Benghazi. Identified EW radars operating in Libya are predominately Soviet-era systems. The following systems have been identified in available imagery:

P-12/18 (SPOON REST)
P-14 (TALL KING)
P-35/37 (BAR LOCK)
P-80 (BACK NET)

In addition, Libya is reported to have received five Italian LPD-20 air search radars in 1983 and three Soviet 5N69 (BIG BACK) EW radars between 1984 and 1985. None of these systems have been identified in available imagery, but that does not preclude their existance.

The following image depicts the locations of identified EW radar sites in Libya:
The following image depicts a notional Libyan EW site, located near Sabha in the western portion of the nation's interior. This is representative of roughly one third of Libya's EW sites. Five sites are only fitted with P-12/18 series radars, with five being fitted with multiple radar systems. The P-12/18 sites likely serve to bolster or extend coverage, with the five sites containing multiple EW radars possibly serving as the command centers for the aforementioned regional commands.
Some strategic SAM sites contain their own organic EW elements. This allows them to perform independent target acquisition, or to accept long-range track handoff from regional EW centers. Seven SAM sites, four S-75 and three S-200, have identified EW assets. S-75 sites feature P-12/18 radars, with S-200 sites featuring P-14 radars. No S-125 sites, and the remaining S-75 and S-200 sites, contain identified EW assets, but this is likely due to the quality of available imagery rather than a lack of assets.

The following image depicts a deployed P-12/18 EW radar at an S-75 site near Tripoli:
SAM Coverage

There are currently thirty one active strategic SAM sites located in Libya. The following image depicts the locations of these sites. S-75 sites are red, S-125 sites are light blue, and S-200 sites are purple. As can be seen, the overwhelming majority of the deployed strategic SAM assets are located along the same coastal regions featuring the bulk of the EW assets.
The following image depicts the overall SAM coverage provided by the identified Libyan strategic SAM sites. Using the same color scheme applied previously, SA-2 zones are red, S-125 zones are light blue, and S-200 zones are purple.
S-75

There are currently eleven active S-75 sites inside of Libya, constituting roughly one third of the strategic SAM force. Russian sources claim that thirty nine S-75M Volkhov batteries were supplied to Libya between 1974 and 1985. Other sources suggest that the initial order of eighteen batteries supplied between 1974 and 1975 consisted of S-75 Dvina systems. S-75 batteries are deployed to protect key population centers and military facilities, predominately along the coastal region.

The following image depicts the coverage provided by Libya's active S-75 batteries:
S-125

There are currently sixteen active S-125 sites inside of Libya. Eight batteries are situated on former S-75 sites. The S-125 represents half of the deployed strategic SAM assets in the nation. Libya operates the S-125M Neva-M variant, with thirty three batteries being supplied between 1974 and 1976. As with the S-75, S-125 batteries are deployed to protect key population and military facilities, predominately along the coastal region.

The following image depicts the coverage provided by Libya's active S-125 batteries:
S-200

There are currently four active S-200 sites inside of Libya, each site being equipped with two batteries. The S-200 represents the longest-range strategic SAM system in the Libyan arsenal. The proximity of these four locations to the coastline allows them to range far out into the Mediterranean, theoretically providing a significant standoff engagement capability. Six S-200 batteries were initially supplied to Libya between 1985 and 1986, with a further five being delivered in 1988. There is some confusion as to which variant Libya operates. Russian sources refer to the system delivered as the S-200VE, but the SIPRI arms trade register refers to the system as the Angara, implying that the longer-range S-200DE was delivered.

The following image depicts the coverage provided by Libya's active S-200 batteries. A range of 300 kilometers is used, corresponding to the Angara variant.
Tactical SAM Systems

The Libyan Army operates various tactical SAM ssytems which could be called upon to provide point defense of serve as gap fillers in the overall air defense network. These systems include the 2K12 Kvadrat (SA-6 GAINFUL), 9K33 Osa (SA-8 GECKO), 9K31 Strela-1 (SA-9 GASKIN), 9K35 Strela-10 (SA-13 GOPHER), and Crotale. While the 9K33 is the most numerous system, the 2K12 represents the msot capable tactical SAM system.

Inactive Sites

There are currently thirty identified inactive strategic SAM sites located in Libya. There are fifteen S-75 sites, eleven S-125 sites, and four S-200 sites. These sites are all located within areas featuring active SAM batteries. As such, they may represent facilities available for bolstering the defenses of a given region during hostilities, drawing on equipment held in garrison, or they may represent dispersal locations for the realignment of SAM deployments over time.

To support the latter concept, it should be noted that five inactive sites, two S-75, one S-125, and two S-200, have hosted operational batteries at some point in the past. Also, three S-125 and one S-200 site currently operational were noted as being inactive at some point in the past. This suggests that there is a policy of redeployment and reorganization that occurs. Militarily this is a sound strategy, as it complicates the targeting of these facilities by a potential aggressor. While it is true that new site locations can be deduced by imagery or ELNT analysis, it adds to the workload of pre-strike planners.

The following image depicts the locations of inactive strategic SAM sites located in Libya:
Support Facilities

Eleven facilities provide logistical support for the overall strategic SAM network. Ten of these facilities are SAM garrisons housing undeployed equipment and missile reloads, with the remaining facility being a dedicated SAM training complex. Seven of the SAM garrisons are generic facilities supporting multiple systems. Based on the identification of system components in available imagery, two of the remaining SAM garrisons appear to solely support the S-75, with the remaining garrison supporting the S-125. All garrisons are located in the vicinity of prepared launch sites.

The following image depicts a combined S-75/125 garrison complex near Tripoli:
The following image depicts the Libyan SAM training complex near Misratah:
STRATEGIC SAM FORCE CAPABILITY

Libyan strategic SAM assets are arranged to provide a layered air defense zone with overlapping fields of fire. S-75 and S-125 batteries are located in close proximity to provide both redundancy and support, with the S-125 being more capable at lower altitudes than the S-75. The large number of inactive sites suggests that the force has been drawn down over time. This could be due to service life issues, equipment failure, financial reasons, or the expenditure of missile stocks.

National S-200 Coverage

The first line of defense in Libya's strategic SAM network is the S-200. Positioned along the coastline, the four active S-200 batteries provide a credible deterrent to high-RCS cooperative targets such as ISR platforms. S-200 batteries are located near Tripoli, Misratah, Surt, and Benghazi.

Coastal Coverage

Libya's S-75 and S-125 sites are concentrated primarily along the western and eastern coastlines. While the S-200 batteries are situated to provide barrier air defense of the nation's coastline, the S-75 and S-125 sites are positioned to provide point defense of assigned areas. From west to east, these sites are arrayed around Ibn Nafa airbase, Tripoli, Misratah, Benghazi, Bombah, and Adam. While contiguous coverage of the coastal region is not provided by these sites, each location is defended by no fewer than three batteries. Ibn Nafa and Bombah are defended by one S-75 and two S-125 batteries, Misratah is defended by one S-75 and three S-125 batteries, and Benghazi and Adam are defended by two S-75 and two S-125 batteries.

The following image depicts the coastal coverage of Libya's S-75 and S-125 batteries, with the locations of the S-200 batteries also marked:
Interestingly, while Surt features an active S-200 battery, all S-75 and S-125 sites in the area are currently inactive. This leaves the coastline along the Gulf of Sidra relatively undefended.

The most heavily defended city is the capitol of Tripoli. Tripoli is defended by three S-75 and four S-125 batteries, with an S-200 battery positioned south of the city. Three SAM garrisons and three EW facilities are also present in the area, as are four inactive SAM sites.

The following image depicts SAM-related facilities and coverage zones near Tripoli:
The following images depict SAM-related facilities and coverage zones near the remaining coastal areas.

Ibn Nafa Airbase
Misratah
Benghazi
Bombah
Adam
Inland Coverage

Sabha is the only inland city within Libya to have any strategic SAM defenses. Much of the Libyan interior is sparsely populated, as are the regions it borders. What then makes Sabha stand out as a location requiring SAM defenses? First, Sabha is believed to have been associated with the defunct Libyan nuclear weapons program. Second, Sabha was home to Libyan rocket development in the early 1980s, when the OTRAG rocket was tested from the Seba Oasis launch facility. There remains a significant military presence in the area, which is likely the ultimate reason for the presence of strategic SAM assets and related support facilities.

The following image depicts SAM-related facilities and coverage zones near Sebha:
Air Defense Issues

Libya's strategic SAM network is logically arrayed to defend key facilities following a point defense strategy, with long-range S-200 systems providing standoff barrier air defense along the coastal region. However, Libya's strategic SAM network has many flaws.

The main drawback of the Libyan strategic SAM network is an overreliance on aging Soviet technology. Russian manufacturers presently produce what are arguably the most advanced and capable land-based strategic SAM systems in the world. Much of their success lies in the fact that they have produced a diverse array of SAM systems with numerous variants. However, this history also presents a problem for nations relying on older technology: the rest of the world has simply passed them by. Advances in electronic warfare and ECM have made many of the older Soviet-era SAM systems obsolete in a modern air combat environment. Libya's S-75, S-125, and S-200 systems are no exception. Furthermore, despite some claims to the contrary, the Libyan strategic SAM force was generally ineffective during hostilities with the United States in the mid 1980s.

In one case, Soviet military officials deduced that the S-200 succeeded in downing three US Navy aircraft in March of 1986, based only on the perception of fragments on the radar readouts and the presence of helicopter activity in the area, the latter being attributed to CSAR efforts. The USN has never disclosed any aircraft losses during the incident, which in and of itself does not indicate that no aircraft were lost, but the other two pieces of "evidence" can easily be explained. The apparent appearance of aircraft fragments on the radar operators' screens could have been attributed to chaff dispersal or radar interference, especially if the aircraft descended below the radar's field of view. Also, helicopter activity is not limited to CSAR operations in the USN; helicopters active at the time could have been performing anti-submarine patrols, searching out and identifying surface contacts, or simply flying proiciency sorties. Whatever the case may be, the evidence does not conclusively indicate that any USN aircraft were downed by S-200s, and if the Russians or Libyans have any evidence to the contrary they have certainly never seen fit to bring it into the open.

Later in 1986, the Libyan strategic SAM network was abused during Operation ELDORADO CANYON, the US military response to Libyan support of terrorism. Lieutenant General Vladimir Yaroshenko, a former officer in the Soviet PVO SAM Troops, was assigned to analyze the poor performance of the Soviet supplied SAM systems in that operation. LTG Yaroshenko has reported his discovery that poor command and control, poor radar coverage, and a lack of appreciation for American anti-radar weapons and tactics precluded effective target engagement. One interesting fact which he mentions is that the S-75 batteries had a minimum engagement altitude of 100 meters, corresponding to the S-75M Volkhov system as mentioned previously. He also confirms that only one US aircraft, an F-111 shot down by AAA fire, was lost, despite Venikian levels of propaganda claiming otherwise at the time.

Part of the current problem stems from international sanctions placed on Libya during the 1980s which effectively stifled any serious chances of upgrading or replacing obsolete systems. The rest of the problem lies in the systems themselves. All three strategic SAM types operated by Libya have been thoroughly exploited by Western intelligence agencies, and many Western nations have faced these same systems in combat at various times, allowing for continued refinement of ECM systems designed to defeat these weapons electronically. Also, no strategic SAM system operated by Libya possesses a multi-target engagement capability. The only SAM sites representing a threat to multiple aircraft are the S-200 locations, as they possess multiple 5N62 (SQUARE PAIR) engagement radars. As such, even though Libyan strategic SAM sites are arrayed to provide overlapping fields of fire while defending a given area, the relatively small number of sites represents a threat to only a small number of targets. As a result, the overall network is easily susceptible to oversaturation.

The second drawback to Libya's strategic SAM network is one of layout. If it is accepted that older Soviet-era systems may still be reliable against regional aggressors lacking modern, sophisticated EW or ECM suites, the system still has a significant number of gaps that could be exploited. The S-200 represents the only significant over water threat, but is constrained by having a minimum engagement altitude of 300 meters. Any terrain-hugging aircraft or cruise missiles would easily be able to exploit this weakness to approach the Libyan coastline. Once the coastline has been reached, the most obvious point of ingress would be the area adjacent to the Gulf of Sidra, which is devoid of deployed strategic SAM assets. Furthermore, as evidenced in the image seen previously, there are gaps between areas covered by S-75 and S-125 batteries which could also be exploited. This does not of course take into account the presence or performance of interceptors, AAA, or tactical SAM units, as these systems are outside the scope of this analysis.

CONCLUSION

At the end of the day, the Libyan strategic SAM network requires a massive infusion of new technology to remain viable in the twenty first century. It was not capable of repelling an attack over twenty years ago, and there is no reason to suspect that it will be capable of such action today. Libya is reportedly negotiating for the purchase of advanced S-300PMU-2 (SA-20B GARGOYLE) SAM systems from Russia, which would go a long way towards modernizing the network and restoring its effectiveness. Colonel al-Gaddafi has made great strides in bringing Libya back into the community of nations, and deserves a large amount of praise for doing so, but that should not lessen the Libyan government's desire or responsibility to provide adequate defense for its citizens.

SOURCES

-The aforementioned data is based on analysis of the available open-source satellite imagery of Libya and may therefore not represent the entire air defense network.

CYPRIOT AIR DEFENSE and the S-300 case

CYPRIOT AIR DEFENSE ISSUES

The island nation of Cyprus has had a long and sometimes violent history. Currently, the internationally recognized government of Cyprus controls approximately two thirds of the island, with roughly 35,000 Turkish troops occupying the remaining third, a situation that has existed since 1974. The government of Cyprus enjoys support from the Greek government in Athens, with the Turkish government in Ankara supporting the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the occupied territory.

In 1995, the government of Cyprus began to examine the possibility of procuring an air defense system. Turkish military aircraft had frequently been seen over the skies of Cyprus with no regard to territorial sovereignty, and the December 1995 announcement of the sale of the ATACMs missile system to the Turkish military represented a new threat system capable of hitting targets in Cyprus from the safety of Turkey.

Cypriot Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides announced the purchase of the Russian S-300PMU-1 strategic SAM system on January 5th, 1997. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, with estimates of between $230 million and $600 million appearing in the open press. The S-300PMU-1 appeared to be an ideal fit for Cyprus with regard to the threats it faced. The 150 kilometer range SAM system would allow Cyprus to monitor the airspace over the entire island, and the associated 64N6E (BIG BIRD D) EW and battle management radar would provide adequate early warning of any inbound Turkish military aircraft. The system was also advertised as having an ATBM capability, allowing it to deal with the forthcoming ATACMs missile system being procured for the Turkish military.



A NEW MISSILE CRISIS

Turkish reaction to the Cypriot SAM purchase was extremely stern. On the 11th of January in 1997 the Washington Times reported that Turkey threatened a pre-emptive strike against Cyprus in order to block the deployment of the missiles. The political back and forth proceeded as the rest of Europe awaited the outcome.

The stern reaction by the Turkish government does not appear to have been logical. Firstly, the S-300PMU-1 is a defensive asset. While the associated radar systems would have been able to peer into a portion of Turkey, no military air bases came under the coverage of either the 150 kilometer engagement range of the missile system of the 300 kilometer detection range of the 64N6E EW radar. Secondly, Turkey formally recognized the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983 (being the only nation to do so). By default, that admission recognizes the Turkish occupied portion of Cyprus as a separate independent nation from the rest of Cyprus. With the de facto admission of the sovereignty of Greek-supported Cyprus, Turkey had no basis for threatening a sovereign nation or interfering in its internal affairs. In a similar vein, Turkey was incensed in June of 1997 when Greek F-16s landed at Paphos Air Base in Cyprus, as a part of expanding defense ties between the two nations due in no small part to Turkish aggression over the S-300PMU-1 purchase. Once again, Turkey insisted on governing the internal affairs of an admittedly sovereign nation. The Turkish reaction was to examine the possibility of an airstrike against Paphos, irregardless of the fact that this would certainly lead to a confrontation with Greece.

The Russian reaction to the evolving crisis was certainly interesting. Russia fervently maintained that the sale would proceed. After the Turkish government began to board and search vessels travelling to Cyprus, the Russian reaction became far more ominous. In October of 1997 the Russian Ambassador to Cyprus, Georgy Muratov, went so far as to state that any Turkish interference with the delivery of the missile systems would be treated as an act of war. Later, Russia examined the possibility of escorting the transport vessels with a naval surface action group, containing both the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and the guided missile cruiser Peter the Great. This would appear to be an overly aggressive posture to protect a simple export sale of a few SAM batteries, but Russia wanted to ensure that their entry into the arms market in Western Europe was not interfered with.

Despite continued threats from Turkey, the Cypriot government seemed willing to negotiate over the issue of the SAM systems. Various proposals were made to the Turkish government in an attempt to dissolve the crisis, but all were rejected. Perhaps the most interesting was a proposal from Cypriot President Glavkos Clerides to disarm the Cypriot national guard and place the funds from the defense budget in a UN account to improve infrastructure in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. His proposal was rejected by the Turkish government. In the end, President Clerides negotiated an agreement with Greece whereby the S-300PMU-1 components would be delivered to the Greek island of Crete, where they would remain under Cypriot control. Turkey decired this move as well.

CYPRIOT S-300PMU-1 FACILITIES

While no S-300PMU-1 SAM systems were ever deployed to Cyprus, Russian technicians did travel to the island nation and construct three sites, two for the missile systems and one for the 64N6E EW and battle management radar. One missile site, along with the 64N6E site, was constructed atop Mount Olympus. The second missile site was constructed in the western part of the island near Drousha. Imagery obtained of the Mount Olympus sites in September of 2003 depicts unused but complete facilities, suggesting that the S-300PMU-1 batteries would have been able to become operational in short order had they been delivered.

The Cypriot S-300PMU-1 facilities were located at the following coordinates:

34°56'39.26"N 32°51'49.19"E (Mount Olympus S-300PMU-1)
34°57'47.46"N 32°22'34.23"E (Drousha S-300PMU-1)
33°56'18.09"N 32°51'40.93"E (Mount Olympus 64N6E EW site)

The following image depicts the location of the aforementioned facilities on the island of Cyprus:


The following image depicts the coverage provided by the S-300PMU-1 components had they been deployed. S-300PMU-1 range rings are red, while the blue ring denotes the range of the 64N6E EW radar.


As can be seen in the image above, the system did not pose a significant threat to Turkish interests. It did, however, have the ability to monitor a great deal of airspace in Lebanon, perhaps representing the source of alleged Israeli objections to the deployment of the systems.

The S-300PMU-1 sites constructed on Cyprus exhibited a layout not before seen in any other S-300P family SAM deployment. It is possible that the sites were constructed with regard to the potential threat posed by the Turkish ATACMS missile system. Nevertheless, certain features can still be positively identified. Each site features four revetments, each intended to house a single TEL. Two TET pads for emplacing 40V6 mast assemblies, capable of mounting either the 30N6E1 (TOMB STONE) engagement radar or the 76N6E (CLAM SHELL) low altitude detection radar, are present. If mobility is desired, what appears to be a raised berm for mounting the 30N6E1 is also provided. Various support facilities are present as well.

The following image depicts the Mount Olympus S-300PMU-1 site:


Although it is of considerably lower resolution, the following image depicts the Drousha S-300PMU-1 site. The lower resolution does not preclude the identification of various elements of the site.


The following image has been constructed by extracting various system components from other imagery in order to depict what an operational S-300PMU-1 site may have looked like:


The 64N6E site is located adjacent to the Mount Olympus S-300PMU-1 site. In this instance, many of the site elements take on a more traditional appearance and can be found in nearly identical fashion at other 64N6-series sites worldwide. The most prominent features are the typical command bunker, a bunker for support vehicles, and what appears to be a raised berm for housing the 64N6E radar system. Alternatively, there is a radome which may also have been intended to house the 64N6E radar array. Protecting the radar array in such a fashion is not out of the question due to the fixed nature of the site.

The following image depicts the Mount Olympus 64N6E site:


The presence of only two prepared sites configured to support an S-300PMU-1 battery would seem to indicate that only two batteries were ordered.

THE S-300PMU-1 ON CRETE

Following Cypriot President Glavkos Clerides' December 1998 decision not to deploy the Russian strategic SAM system on Cyprus, the Greek government agreed to allow the weapons to be deployed on the Greek island of Crete. Turkey continued to complain, as it was stated that the systems would still be under Cypriot ownership, but the relocation of the systems to Crete would effectively neutralize them as they would no longer have the range necessary to threaten Turkish airspace. Naturally, the issue of a future deployment of the SAMs to Cyprus was not addressed, ostensibly to placate the Turkish government into backing down from threatening military action against the defensive systems. In return for not deploying the S-300PMU-1 in Cyprus, Greece agreed to transfer a number of Tor-M1 TELARs to Cyprus for air defense.

S-300PMU-1 components were delivered to Crete by Russia in April of 1999. Initially, the S-300PMU-1 components were located at Nikos Kazantzakis. Shortly thereafter, at least some of the components were transferred to Tympaki, where the support facilities for the system had been located. By 2004, an S-300PMU-1 battery had been relocated back to Nikos Kazantzakis, along with the associated 64N6E EW radar complex. This battery was deployed to provide air defense for the 2004 Summer Olympics being held in Athens. Analysis of open source imagery indicates that the battery deployed at Nikos Kazantzakis remained there as of June 2007, with the 64N6 radar no longer deployed. Elements of a second battery were still present at Tympaki as of January 2005.

The S-300PMU-1 facilities on the island of Crete are located at the following coordinates:

35°20'33.79"N 25°10'58.77"E (Nikos Kazantzakis)
35°19'52.02"N 25°13'20.74"E (64N6E EW site)
35°04'02.43"N 24°45'10.01"E (Tympaki)

The locations of the aforementioned sites can be seen in the following image:


The Nikos Kazantzakis S-300PMU-1 deployment is organized in two areas on the grounds of Heraklion International Airport. The actual deployment site lies along the northeastern end of the main runway, with a garrison area for system components being found to the southeast of the airport terminal.

The following image depicts the S-300PMU-1 components deployed at Nikos Kazantzakis:


The following image depicts the garrison area at Nikos Kazantzakis:


Interestingly, it would appear that there are two 30N6E1 engagement radars at Nikos Kazantzakis, suggesting that more than two batteries may have been delivered. Standard practice is to purchase one engagement radar for each battery. It is also possible that the second radar was deployed from Tympaki to support the continued operation of the system after the Olympics and simply has not been redeployed.

Open source photographs of the 64N6E radar system in operation has allowed the early warning and battle management site to be located. When the image was captured in June of 2007 the 64N6E had been removed, but the location is correct based on analysis of terrain features in the area. The photographs used to determine the location of the 64N6E emplacement will not be posted here in order to respect the copyrights of the respective owners.

The 64N6E location can be seen in the image below:


The Tympaki S-300PMU-1 garrison and support facility is located on the grounds of the former Tympaki Air Base along the southern coast of Crete. While the system was deployed to Nikos Kazantzakis for operational use in 2004, there is nothing precluding an S-300PMU-1 battery from operating at Tympaki. Imagery acquired in January of 2005 depicted a nearly complete battery in residence, supporting the theory that only two batteries were delivered (the second battery likely still residing at Nikos Kazantzakis). A 30N6E1 engagement radar can be seen in operation, as well as three TELs and a stowed 40V6 mast assembly for the 76N6E low altitude detection radar. The only limiting factor to operating an S-300PMU-1 battery out of Tympaki would be terrain. A large mountain range bisects the two S-300PMU-1 facilities on either coast, which would cause problems if the 64N6E EW and battle management radar was emplaced at the previously identified location east of Nikos Kazantzakis to support both batteries.

The following image depicts the S-300PMU-1 facility at Tympaki:


In December of 2007, Cypriot ownership of the S-300PMU-1 strategic SAM system came to an end. An agreement was signed to formally transfer ownership of the systems to Greece, effectively ending a ten year political incident. Formal Greek inclusion of the S-300PMU-1 into the Hellenic air defense network would fill a large gap along the southern flank of Greek territory. As the following image demonstrates, activating both S-300PMU-1 batteries would provide air defense for the entire island of Crete and a large portion of the surrounding airspace. The range of the 64N6E radar is illustrated as a blue ring, with red rings denoting the engagement zones of S-300PMU-1 batteries deployed at each identified associated location.


Greece currently relies on three PATRIOT and two HAWK batteries for air defense. The following image illustrates that the inclusion of the S-300PMU-1 into the overall air defense network would allow for a significant increase in capability along Greece's southern flanks. S-300PMU-1 and PATRIOT ranges are depicted as red rings, HAWK ranges are depicted as orange rings, and the 64N6E radar range is depicted as a blue ring.


REPLACING THE S-300

With the S-300PMU-1 out of the equation, Cyprus still sought a solution to the air defense question. A long-range system was clearly no longer a viable option unless Cyprus desired to continue enhancing the Greek air defense network. Cypriot officials were not overly enamored of the Tor-M1 systems provided by Greece, as they had a short range precluding any significant impact on the nation's air defense posture. Cyprus may have found a solution in another Russian SAM product, the Buk-M1 (SA-11 GADFLY).

In March of 1999 Turkish newspapers were reporting the sale of the Buk-M1 to Cyprus. While not a strategic SAM system in the vein of the S-300PMU-1, the Buk-M1 has a respectable engagement range of 35 kilometers and also enjoys an advertised ATBM capability. Being a tactical system not tied to a fixed, prepared site, the Buk-M1 is also highly mobile, complicating any potential targeting efforts.

Examination of military installations in Cyprus has resulted in the location of two facilities which may be home to Cypriot Buk-M1 components. Imagery captured in October of 2003 depicts what may be a garrison facility as well as a hardened storage site for housing missile reloads or system components themselves.

The garrison site, located at 34°54'27.17"N 33°20'22.88"E, can be seen in the image below. The site appears to be well maintained and displays features in common with the Mount Olympus S-300PMU-1 facilities, suggesting possible Russian invovlement in its construction.


The hardened storage facility, located at 34°53'51.77"N 33°20'14.42"E, can be seen in the image below. A possible 9A310 TELAR can be seen in the entrance of one of the bunkers. The object compares well with field deployed 9A310 TELARs identified in Russia.


While the S-300PMU-1 purchase was widely reported, it would appear that any Buk-M1 deal has been kept out of the public eye. This was likely done in an effort to avoid yet another diplomatic exercise with Turkey. It is possible that Greece acted as the buyer for Cyprus. A Ria Novosti article in December of 2007 alleged that Greece had procured the Buk-M1-2 system at some point in the past, a 45 kilometer evolution of the Buk-M1 incorporating the 9M317 missile from the Buk-M2 system. Whatever the case may be, the evidence suggests that Cyprus has in fact procured some variant of the Buk family to solve its air defense question.

CONCLUSION

Despite continued posturing by the Turkish government after the plan to deliver the S-300PMU-1 systems to Crete was announced, the conflict rapidly abated. While the issue of Cyprus itself still remains unresolved, on this occasion cooler heads prevailed to ensure that the once-likely military conflict did not transpire. What remains is perhaps a new understanding of the many issues facing the nations resolved to end the political conflict continuing to grasp the island nation.

Russian SAMs

 S300P SITE

There are two common battery configurations employed by the S-300P SAM system. The first relies on a typically prepared site with a tower-mounted engagement radar. The second relies on either a prepared or unprepared site with a mobile engagement radar vehicle. The number of TELs present varies from user to user, location to location, and variant to variant, and these differences will be discussed in the Deployment Strategies sections of this article.

The following annotated image of an S-300PT site near Severodvinsk depicts a battery employing tower-mounted engagement and 76N6 radars:


The following annotated image of an S-300PMU site near Sevastopol depicts a standard site layout employing a mobile engagement radar and a tower-mounted 76N6:



Some sites employing a mobile engagement radar still retain the tower assembly for mounting the radar should the need arise. The following site south of Voronezh depicts a mobile engagement radar being employed, with the 40V6 mast assembly positioned nearby in a lowered position:


EXAMPLES OF COMMON SITE CONFIGURATIONS

There are many different iterations of S-300P site configurations. Most of them differ in the number, shape, and positioning of prepared revetments used to protect the components. However, it should be stressed that the S-300P is a mobile SAM system, and as such can be deployed almost anywhere. That being said, there are a few common site layouts that have been identified, and these layouts will be detailed here.

One of the more common S-300P site configurations is a central tower-mounted engagement radar surrounded on two sides by parralel "slanted-E" shaped divided revetments for TELs or missile reload canisters. A tower-mounted 76N6 is positioned nearby. This site layout is often featured around Moscow on the grounds of former S-25 (SA-1 GUILD) SAM sites, but is also featured elsewhere as well, such as in Belarus.

The following annotated image depicts an S-300PM-1 site near Bortnevo, north of Moscow, employing the "slanted-E" revetment style:


Another common site configuration features four launch positions arranged around a central raised berm for a mobile engagement radar. The size and shape of the launch positions, as well as the presence of protective revetments for the TELs, varies from site to site and nation to nation, but the overall layout remains relatively uniform. The site near Sevastopol depicted above is an example of such a configuration. All identifiable Chinese S-300P sites employ a variation on this layout.

Given that the S-300P SAM system is a mobile system, it is also quite common to find batteries deployed on former legacy SAM sites. As seen previously, many S-25 sites around Moscow are now home to S-300P batteries. Slovakia's S-300PMU battery resides on the grounds of a former S-125 site, and there is a Ukrainian S-300PMU battery and garrison positioned on a former S-200 complex near Sevastopol, to cite a few examples.

The following image depicts an S-300PM battery deployed on the grounds of a former S-75 site near Roschino, north of St. Petersburg. The Roschino site is slightly unusual insofar as there are S-300P-style revetments to the southwest that are apparently unused.


Despite the presence of common site configurations, there are numerous random layouts. The numerous site configurations probably stem from the fact that the S-300P is a mobile system able to be located nearly anywhere. Some sites feature numerous revetments designed for two TELs apiece, some feature larger revetments for four or more TELs, and some feature no revetments at all.

The lack of consistency on a large scale in the configuration of S-300P sites belies the importance of being able to identify the system based on the visible components. The S-300PT is relatively easy to identify given the unique appearance of the 5P85-1 launchers. Differentiating between an S-300PM and an S-300PM-1 seems more difficult from the outset, but is in fact not all that hard. The 5P85S/D TELs measure around 43 feet in length, while the 5P85T TELs measure around 47 feet in length, based on visible imagery. As the S-300PS had a service life of 20 years and was introduced in 1982, and many of them were modified to S-300PM standard, any sites with 43 meter TELs can be identified relatively accurately as S-300PM sites. Of course, export systems would be the S-300PMU, and export sites featuring the 47-foot semi trailer TELs would be S-300PMU-1s.

RUSSIAN DEPLOYMENT STRATEGIES

Russian S-300P sites display a number of identifiable deployment strategies. S-300P SAM systems are employed in defense of key industrial and military areas, as well as large population centers.

S-300PM and S-300PM-1 sites around Moscow typically employ the "slanted-E" site configuration, and most of them are based on the grounds of former S-25 SAM sites. Moscow defense sites all employ tower mounted engagement radars in conjunction with tower-mounted 76N6 radars. This provides a robust low-altitude target detection envelope around the capital city. Eight to twelve TELs are typically present at each site, with at least six TELs at each site being loaded with missiles and positioned in a launch revetment.

S-300P sites located along the periphery of Russia's Far East Military District, particularly near Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk, tend to feature mobile engagement radars and tower-mounted 76N6 radars. This is likely due to the fact that sites located along the periphery are typically positioned very near the water and therefore do not have substantial terrain for the engagement radar to contend with along potential threat ingress routes. A raised berm for the engagement radar is often more than sufficient to ensure the radar has a sufficient field of view with respect to any vegetation in the area. The single exception is the S-300PM site positioned to defend the Rybachiy SSBN base, featuring a tower-mounted engagement radar, likely due to the terrain constraints potentially interfering with the engagement radar being able to see out over the open ocean from where it is positioned. The Yelizovo and Petropavlovsk sites are positioned at a higher elevation than the Rybachiy site, providing them with a better field of view than the Rybachiy site.

S-300P sites on the Kola peninsula and around St. Petersburg feature tower-mounted engagement radars, likely due to the varied terrain in the areas where the SAM sites are positioned. Kola sites feature eight active TELs, with St. Petersburg sites featuring four active TELs, likely due to the greater strategic importance of the Kola peninsula and associated military facilities.

Interestingly, the Kaliningrad S-300P sites feature tower-mounted engagement radars at four sites and a mobile engagement radar at the fifth site. There are no major terrain constraints requiring use of the towers for the engagement radars. However, the Kaliningrad region is geographically separated from the rest of Russia, and is is possible that tower-mounted engagement radars are employed to provide an increased probability of low-altitude detection. Kaliningrad is also home to a Russian naval contingent, so perhaps the engagement radars are tower mounted at four of the sites to remove the potential of low-altitude clutter generated by the incoming and outgoing naval vessels. This doesn't seem to make complete sense, however, as the Baltiysk site nearest the harbor entrance features the mobile engagement radar.

The lack of S-300PM-1 batteries in areas identified as being of strategic importance, such as Petropavlovsk, Vladivostok and Kaliningrad, is likely due to the fact that the more sensitive systems are kept in areas where the presence of foreign ELINT assets is far less likely. There is, however, an S-300PM-1 battery deployed near Novorossiysk, The presence of an S-300PM-1 site in this area is likely due to the fact that it represents the sole identifiable active strategic SAM site in the area. It should also be noted that the S-300PM-1 systems are at most nearly a decade newer than the S-300PM systems. Ergo, it is likely that the areas considered to be the most strategically important were the first to receive the S-300PM-1. This would explain the high concentration around Moscow, and the presence on the Kola Peninsula. S-300PM-1s not being present on the Kamchatka Peninsula can be explained away by the fact that the Northern Fleet is the main combat arm of the Russian Navy. Petropavlovsk and Rybachiy also enjoy protection by a MiG-31 regiment, so the area is not necessarily at a loss.

CHINESE DEPLOYMENT STRATEGIES

There are five visible active S-300P sites inside of China at this moment. China apaprently has chosen to employ the S-300P systems to defend key population centers, relying on older HQ-2 SAM systems to defend smaller population centers and military facilities. Four of China's S-300P locations are S-300PMU-1 sites, with the fifth being home to an S-300PMU battery. China employs a relatively standard deployment strategy throughout its S-300P batteries. Four TELs are deployed around a central, mobile engagement radar vehicle positioned on a raised berm. There are four separate pads for the TELs, with two TELs positioned on each of two launch pads. Tower-mounted engagement radars are not employed, allowing the core system components to be rapidly repositioned. A 36D6 or 64N6 EW radar is colocated with each SAM battery, with at least one 64N6 being present in each deployment area either in a colocated or nearby position to provide long-range target detection.

The one major inconsistency in Chinese S-300P deployments is the presence of a tower-mounted 76N6 radar. The 76N6 is present at the Yutian S-300PMU site, along with both Shanghai S-300PMU-1 sites. The reasoning behind this strategy likely relates to potential threat ingress routes. The Shanghai S-300PMU-1 sites are positioned near the coastline and as such would be able to monitor the airspace offshore, potentially detecting inbound strike aircraft and missiles from Kadena AB, Okinawa, and southern Japan. Given the low-altitude detection function of the 76N6, it is plausible that the Shanghai sites are positioned to detect inbound, low-altitude missiles launched from naval vessels or submarines.

Why, then, would there be a disparity in the 76N6 deployment to the north? Beijing is much farther inland, and is also protected by the defenses of the Bo Hai gulf. Any potential threat ingressing from the east or south would have to penetrate a dense air defense network which also included interceptor aircraft and other SAM systems. Beijing is also borered to the north and west by mountainous terrain, making low-altitude detection less important as any inbound target from those directions would pop up into the coverage of the 64N6 EW radar sites positioned in the area.

The inconsistency, therefore, is the presence of the 76N6 at the Yutian S-300PMU site. The 120 kilometer range of the 76N6 does not give it enough range to reach offshore from the Yutian site. It is possible that the 76N6 was only purchased for use with the S-300PMU and therefore would not be found at any of the S-300PMU-1 sites, whose 30N6E1 radar does offer improved performance over the 30N6E employed by the S-300PMU. The answer may also lie in the condition of the Yutian 76N6. It is visible in a lowered position, potentially being prepared for transport.

However, the Yutian 76N6 may simply be lowered for maintenance, or may be a new arrival. In the latter case, it may be indicative of future 76N6 deployments at the northern S-300P sites to augment the already robust radar coverage of the systems. The Yutian site may also be a training unit, allowing crews to train on all of the system components. Lastly, the Yutian 76N6 may be positioned to aid in the detection of cruise missiles fired towards Beijing-area targets from submerged submarines that manage to penetrate the Bo Hai gulf's waters.

DEPLOYMENT STRATEGIES OF OTHER NATIONS

S-300P sites in the Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan are primarily deployed to defend population centers, capitals, and in the case of the Ukraine military facilities. Most S-300PT facilities feature a standard twelve TEL complement, although there are some minor variations, as there are with the S-300PMU deployments.

Slovakia was not analyzed due to the presence of only a single identifiable S-300P battery. Likewise, Greece was not analyzed as S-300PMU-1 components are visible at two locations on Crete but they are not deployed.

S-300P SYSTEM COVERAGE

The S-300P is a very capable strategic SAM system, and as such can provide very robust air defense over a large region of airspace. By employing a number of batteries positioned to provide overlapping areas of coverage, a nation can effectively create what amounts to an area of denied airspace. While the S-300P does feature multiple-target engagement capability, it is also wise to overlap coverage areas in order to reduce the effect of saturation by actual or false targets.

The following image depicts S-300P coverage provided by identified, active sites positioned around Moscow. The blue rings represent the associated 64N6 EW radars. Large red rings represent S-300PM-1 batteries, with small red rings representing S-300PM batteries. The S-300PM-1 has a 150 kilometer range, the S-300PM a 90 kilometer range, and the 64N6 a 300 kilometer range. The overlapping coverage areas and the number of batteries in place have effectively transformed the skies over Moscow into the most heavily defended airspace in the world.


Samoderzhets was a program begun shortly after the merger of Almaz and Antey aimed at identifying the characteristics and capabilities of new SAM systems operating on a national level. The research effort was conducted by the Second Central Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense. Deputy Defense Minister General of the Army Aleksey Moskovskiy, in a December 2004 interview for Vestnik Vozdushnogo Flota, described Samoderzhets as a project aimed at finding an "optimal solution" for the development of new air defense systems, systems capable of performing tasks for both the Army and PVO air defense, and operating within a national integrated air defense network framework:

"The name you mentioned, Samoderzhets, is not a system. It is a system project to look for an optimal solution."

General Moskovskiy goes on to state that an actual SAM system like the one outlined in the Samoderzhets project would most likely not be procured anytime soon as it would be "superfluous", as the S-400 was nearing service entry, but does state that modifying S-400 components to operate in such a manner (implying a national integrated network) was possible. The reason for integrating such systems would be to better coordinate air defense assets, and to better integrate the anti-missile capabilities of S-300V type systems (which are presently Russian Army assets, being tactical systems) into the national defense network. Ergo, the creation of an actual weapon system was not the goal of Samoderzhets, but rather the description and outlining of a new national framework to better control and integrate present and future systems to maximize their effectiveness, as well as the delineation and outlining of capabilities required by the individual systems serving in such a network. Official news regarding the Samoderzhets project virtually disappeared after 2004. There was a logical explanation for this, however: the research program was completed in 2004.

Samoderzhets was clearly never intended to result in the direct production of a new SAM system bearing the name, but it was a very important research endeavour, especially in the light of the new Almaz-Antey consortium. Future SAM systems will likely be designed around the system requirements and framework researched and outlined in the Samoderzhets project. In fact, early 2007 saw the mention of such a system. Sergey Ivanov, Russian Defense Minister, gave Almaz-Antey the task to develop a new air defense system capable for the first time of providing air defense, missile defense, and space defense. Such a project would seem to be revolutionary in concept, but seems perfectly logical as a next step given the results of the Samoderzhets project, and has been given until 2015 to produce hardware. 2015 may not seem that far off, especially given the delays associated with the S-400 system, but the new all-encompassing system has in fact been mentioned as early as 2005, and may have been in development before then.

It should be noted that the term "air defense system" does not necessarily imply one specific system such as the S-400, but could very well imply a series of systems, in this case the S-400 and S-500, integrated under a united national network, such as the kind outlined under the Samoderzhets project.

It is likely that the new system will build upon the S-400, using S-400 components for air defense. The missile defense component will likely be the aforementioned S-500 system, referred to in some sources as Vlastelin. The S-500 re-entered the public eye in August of 2007. On the 6th of August, Igor Ashurbeyli of Almaz-Antey was interviewed on Channel One TV in Russia regarding the first S-400 battery being activated near Elektrostal. Ashurbeyli stated that the next project for Almaz-Antey was the S-500, a mobile anti-missile system designed to function as part of the "unified system of Russia's air defense", a clear reference to Ivanov's statements in February and the concepts researched under Samoderzhets. Development of the S-500, according to some sources, had ended at one point in the past due to a lack of funding, but could easily have been restarted, saving Almaz-Antey from having to come up with a new anti-missile system from scratch. The S-500 is also believed to be related to the 45T6 anti-ballistic missile, which would certainly enable it to potentially perform exoatmospheric intercepts.

Confusion resulting from the appearance of the Samoderzhets name in press reporting did lead to the assumption that a new system was being developed, but as Samoderzhets was a project only, this is clearly not the case. There are a few reasons why certain assumptions about the potential new system were made, however, and they can be logically explained.

Samoderzhets is often claimed to be a SAM system integrating S-300P/S-400 and S-300V components. This is basically true, but not in a physical sense. Samoderzhets called for the integration of existing systems into a national level network, while designing new systems to operate in such a manner from the outset, regardless of whether or not they were employed by the Army or the Air Defense Troops. These systems would have, according to General Moskovskiy, included the S-300P and S-300V families. They would have been integrated, but not in a physical sense, as many have incorrectly assumed.

Samoderzhets was also described as combining the best aspects of previously developed SAM systems, and serving as the basis for a new standardized SAM system. This is partly correct; Samoderzhets would have integrated S-300V and S-300P/S-400 type systems, enabling their effectiveness to be maximized. Samoderzhets does also form the basis for new SAM development, as it outlined the framework under which new systems will operate, as well as their desired performance characteristics.

The main nail in the coffin of the Samoderzhets argument is the 2007 tasking to develop a new SAM system. Were Samoderzhets already a developed system by 2004, as some suggest, a new air and missile defense system would clearly not have been required. Furthermore, the Samoderzhets project was already three years past its completion date by 2007. As such the project initiated in 2007 would not have required a 2015 demonstration date; were Samoderzhets a true SAM system, completed in 2004, it would be ready for deployment far earlier than 2015. Lastly, the S-500 has been mentioned as the next SAM system to be developed for operational use, not Samoderzhets.

Some sources have claimed that Samoderzhets was proposed as an alternative to the S-400. In that light Samoderzhets may have been intended to result in a hybrid system, but the induction of the S-400 into front-line service would seem to be enough to put that theory to rest.

A final argument against the development of Samoderzhets as an actual SAM system is that it would represent both a waste of effort, given the S-500 development program for the anti-missile role, and a reduction in capability when compared to the S-400. In the anti-aircraft role the S-300VM's 9M83M missile has a range of 200 kilometers, a full 50 or 100 kilometers shy of the two range figures quoted for the 48N6DM employed by the S-400, even without considering the 400 kilometer range attained by the S-400's 40N6. Furthermore, Samoderzhets cannot be the new S-500 system, provided of course that both Ivanov and Ashurbeyli were referring to the same system. If, as many sources would have us believe, Samoderzhets represents a combination of S-300VM and S-400 systems, then the resultant system would fail to achieve the performance specified by Ivanov insofar as intercepting exoatmospheric targets is concerned.

Samoderzhets as a research endeavour is a far more logical explanation in light of the current evidence. 

http://geimint.blogspot.com/

Zolfaghar and Seraj-1 High-Speed Combat Boats










The production lines for the Seraj-1 high-speed patrol boats and a new generation of the Zolfaghar fast attack craft were launched on Monday by Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi.

The new generation of the Zolfaghar vessel is capable of launching Nasr-1 missiles, and sailing at a speed of 70 knots (82 mph). It is claimed to be able to operate in an average wave height of 1.21 meters while its missiles will effectively work at a height of 1.25 meters.

At the production launch, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy (IRGCN) Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said that speed boats, especially the newly mass-produced missile-launching vessels, have granted high mobility and power to the IRGC Navy and made it a unique force in the world.


"As regards high-speed missile-launching vessels, no country in the world enjoys such a power (that Iran has)," Fadavi said, addressing a ceremony held to mark inauguration of the production lines of two types of new speed vessels.