Another Syrian Pantsir lost

Yesterday Sunday 20 January Israel again struck targets close to Damascus International Airport. Much is still unconfirmed about the raid, but it is clear that it included significant numbers of Syrian missiles fired in response, at least one of which led to two Iron Dome-missiles being fired from an Israeli battery close to Mt Hermon as it was on track to enter Israeli airspace (the missiles are usually fired in pairs to ensure intercept). It is not confirmed whether the missile was intercepted or not.

A video has also surfaced of a single Buk being fired from a confirmed SAM-site close to the airport, but while the Russians and Syrians were their usual bombastic selves, ” strike on airport in Damascus caused no damage, seven missiles intercepted by Buk, Pantsir systems“, reality once again seems to be in poor agreement.

The Israeli Defense Forces has released a new video showing SAM-sites being targeted. The most interesting part of the clip shows a Pantsir-S1 (likely the S1E-version) being intercepted by what looks like a Delilah cruise missile.
Keen Syria-watchers will recognise  that this isn’t the first encounter between the Pantsir-S1 and the Delilah. For details how to recognise the Pantsir-S1 and Delilah footage, see the post from last time. While the Israeli modus operandi hasn’t seemingly changed, neither has the incompetence of the Syrian air defence crews. The radar is raised, but not rotating and pointing in the wrong direction, while the missiles are in the transport-position and not ready to be fired. Despite the vehicle being an obvious high-value target, it is left sitting out in the open with no attempt at camouflage or anyone trying to move it into cover.

Still showing the Buk shortly before it fires a single missile in a western direction.

The bottom line is that we still lack any proof of the Pantsir-S1 being of much use. It is possible that the missiles were used (successfully?) to intercept decoys launched before the strike itself, there are rumours of the Israelis using this tactic dating back to Operation Mole Cricket 19, though as with many aspects of these raids confirmed information is scarce.

6 thoughts on “Another Syrian Pantsir lost

  1. Who knows, maybe the Pantsir-S1 should be an important asset in the right hands or operators. I bet a Swedish or a Finnish or an American crew could have creamed out some efficiency of it. Many western nations would have, I think.

    But the efficiency more than anything comes from the vigilance between events. Thats where it’s decided who is going to win.

  2. Daniel

    The Russians are only fooling the Syrians! Russian air defence systems are worse than useless! Any nation that trusts in Russian air defence systems will always be bitterly disappointed!

  3. brightdark

    If I’m not mistaken, that Delilah was flying through the Pantsir’s missile fire and they still couldn’t hit it?

    1. Yes, it seems that Israeli ECM made that possible. Both the late Russian battery’s response and its missiles crooked flight path can probably be accredited to Israeli ECM.

    2. FkDahl

      Its a splice of two videos, the radar of the Pantsir is suddenly down, with a reload vehicle nearby. Obviously the Syrians need to pair the Pantsirs and keep one on the ready.
      What we have seen in the Syrian conflict (apart from the shameful support of Western and Israel of jihadists) is a relatively competent AA force that is effective against older cruise missiles. Were the AA crews Serbs or Russians the effectiveness the AA defense would be even higher.

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