A joint US-Israeli delegation secretly visited Ukraine to acquaint themselves with several specimens of important weaponry, including an S-300 anti-air defense system, Vietnamese news portal Soha News reports.
According to the article, Ukrainian specialists explained to delegation members the tactical and technical characteristics of the S-300 in Ukraine’s possession, and suggested that American and Israeli fighter jets be sent to Ukraine in order to test the system’s capabilities.
Responding to the threat of Russian anti-air defense systems in Syria, the US dispatched 18 fourth-generation F-15C Eagle fighters to Ukraine, and Israel sent several pilots, who were able to test the S-300’s capabilities using the American aircraft.
The article also notes that Ukraine previously sent the US a 36D6M1-1 mobile radar station, the technology of which is used in the S-300. The Ukrainian specialists are confident that the characteristics of the surface-to-air missile systems in Ukraine’s possession do not differ significantly from those of the modified S-300PMU2 system which Russia sent to Syria.
The analysis of the S-300’s capabilities in conjunction with Ukraine has reportedly convinced the Israeli military leaders that the Syrian S-300s will not pose a threat to Israel’s fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters.
Soha News emphasizes that Moscow is greatly displeased at Kyiv’s actions, which weaken Damascus’s military capabilities. On the other hand, it is not hard to understand any initiatives by Ukraine against Russia, since Ukraine considers Russia its archenemy.
American F-15C Eagles first arrived in Ukraine on October 6. Kyiv and Washington both state that the planes will be used in the Clear Sky 2018 international military exercise. Eight NATO member-states and Ukraine will take part in the drills.
Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said that the capabilities of the S-300 have long been taken into account in Israel’s strategic planning.
Russia recently sent four S-300 systems to Syria. The decision was prompted by an incident in which a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft was shot down by friendly Syrian fire from an S-200 system. The Syrian anti-air defense systems were trying to shoot down an attacking Israeli F-16 Fighting Falcon. Russia believes that the S-300 will improve the Syrian government’s defense.
The three-coordinate centimeter band 36D6M1-1 radar station is designed to detect, identify and escort airborne targets at intermediate and low altitudes under conditions of intensive active and passive jamming by the enemy. The radar is produced by the Ukrainian scientific and production complex “Iskra”. The latest upgrade to the station, which was sent to the US in December 2017, enables it to detect stealth targets. The shipment of the radar to the US was opposed by the Innovative Technologies Company, which, according to Ukraine, represents Russian interests.