The Americans proved the imperfection of the S-400

The exercises in Africa focused on the destruction of Russian military equipment

US ground forces have destroyed two divisions of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems S-400 “Triumph”, writes the American edition of The Drive. This happened during the large-scale Africa Lion 2021 exercise, which took place in various countries of North and West Africa from June 7 to 18.

This “feat” of American weapons is described in a video by the South European Task Force of the US Ground Forces in Africa.

The video is quite specific. It can be seen how cars with transport and launch containers sticking up, which quite convincingly reproduce the appearance of combat vehicles, explode.

But what led to the explosions is completely incomprehensible. Either an aircraft missile hit them, or a large-caliber shell flew in. Or, perhaps, a mine, planted by sappers under the bottom of the cars, went off.

At the same time, as noted by sources in the defense department, it is unclear what the nature of the exploded combat vehicles is, which, of course, are not real. Either they are inflatable, or made of planks by skilled carpenters.

I must say that such a beating of the S-400 is a very conditional matter. Since inflatable dummies are not able to hit attacking fighters and cruise missiles. The Americans, I must say, have already filled up a lot of Triumph complexes. The most recent “victory” came last December at Anglin Base, Florida, during the US Air Force’s Emerald Flag exercise. Then not only the S-400 systems were “destroyed”, but also the T-72 tanks, Su-34 fighter-bombers and even one submarine.

However, despite the conventionality of such exercises, it cannot be argued that the S-400 is an ideal weapon that cannot be destroyed with one or another weapon.

This is what Colonel Sergei Volkov, ex-deputy chairman of the Scientific and Technical Committee of the Air Force, is talking about .

At the same time, he distributed the threats of weakening the protective properties of the system according to the degree of their danger. In the first place are the means of electronic warfare, which the enemy uses to break through the defense. The interference they create can create certain difficulties for the operation of the Triumph radar, which weakens the ability to detect and track targets, as well as issue target designations to anti-aircraft missiles.

In second place is the use by the enemy of aircraft with low radar signature. These include manned fighters and bombers, built with maximum use of stealth technology, as well as drones with small geometric dimensions and made from radio-transparent materials, and cruise missiles.

Their danger lies in the fact that they can, remaining unnoticed, approach the Triumph at a distance at which the combat crews will have difficulties in finding, capturing for escort and firing at such targets.

However, the situation for the attacking “Triumph” with the use of electronic warfare and stealth aircraft this spring has become much more complicated. In May, the new Yenisei radar station was put into service, the fact of its development until the very end, that is, before the station was introduced into the air defense and missile defense forces, was kept secret. And only now there is some information about this radar, which is attached to the S-400 systems. And in the near future it will be included in the more efficient S-500 Prometey air defense system. The detection range of this radar is 600 kilometers, the height is 100 kilometers.

A feature of the Yenisei is that the more powerful the source creates interference, the better this radar works, the more precisely target designation is issued. So the role of electronic warfare in attacks on the S-400 is now significantly reduced.

The work on subtle targets has also improved. The active phased antenna array of the Yenisei has two fields. It can be assumed that the radar operates in both centimeter and decimeter wavelengths. Consequently, this radar can “strip” stealth fighters, which are visible in the decimeter range much farther than in the centimeter range. But these are not all the advantages of the Yenisei, developed by the Almaz-Antey concern. The station can operate in a passive mode, that is, without emitting waves, to carry out electronic reconnaissance. And in this mode, according to the developers, the radar can issue target designation for firing at detected targets.

However, the attackers have another way to overcome the S-400 defenses. But, according to Sergei Volkov, it is purely theoretical. If the intensity of the attack, that is, the number of targets attacking per minute, exceeds the fire performance of the Triumph, then the system will lose its ability to defend itself. But in practice, this is unattainable. The S-400 division can simultaneously “serve” up to 80 targets. Manned vehicles are currently unlikely to create such a plaque density.

It should be borne in mind that mixed groupings of air defense-missile defense forces are being created, which, in addition to the S-400, are also equipped with the S-350 Vityaz air defense system, the fire efficiency of which is even higher than that of the Triumph.

With the advent of the S-500 air defense system in the troops, the capabilities of detecting and suppressing stealthy targets will increase even more. The fire performance of the system will also increase.

Sergei Volkov believes that the Americans are capable of destroying the S-350, S-400 and S-500 only at the African Lion 2021 exercises and at similar “games”, where it is impossible to imitate the operation of all systems of the Russian anti-aircraft missile system.

It is necessary to dwell on two points that complement the picture of the Russian system repelling attacks on it. The first is in favor of the attackers. If it is now impossible to organize a significant raid density by manned vehicles, then in the future, which is not far off, we will have to face an attack by swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles. And their intensity may well exceed the performance of the S-400.

The second point is in favor of the defenders. The fact is that the task of the S-400 long-range system does not include the task of self-defense. It is designed to repel attacks on distant approaches, hundreds of kilometers away, aimed at territories of a significant area protected by the Triumph. The S-400 is protected from damage by short-range or short-range object complexes. These include the Pantsir air defense missile system and the Tor and Cube air defense systems. This is how the air defense is built in the Russian troops. This is the configuration of the defense system of the Russian Air Force base in Syria, which works without interruptions.

So the Americans in the exercises had to first suppress short-range complexes, and only then approach the S-400. What was not done, judging by the publication in The Drive.

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