Russia has the technical capability to supply Syria with S-300 anti-air missile systems within a month, by using what the Russian military department has available and carrying out the necessary modifications, TASS reported with reference to a military diplomatic source.
According to the source, there are two ways that S-300s could be sent to Syria. One would be to produce systems of the export variety, but then Syria would only receive them in one and a half to two years. The other option would be to send systems from the Russian Defense Ministry’s reserves, or to use the systems withdrawn from the armament when the Russian army’s S-300s were replaced with S-400 systems.
“Of course, the used Russian S-300s to be sent to Syria will have to undergo the relevant adaptation to the Syrian Arab Republic’s anti-air defense standards, which could take roughly a month with accelerated work,” the source observed.
Earlier the newspaper Kommersant reported with reference to its own sources that Russia may soon begin supplying Syria with S-300 “Favorite” anti-air missile systems.
The General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces announced that it was prepared to return to the matter of supplying Damascus with S-300 systems immediately after the cruise missile strike by the US, Britain and France against Syria on April 14. Russia signed an agreement to supply the country with S-300 systems in 2010, but it was later frozen due to the position of the West and Israel.
On April 16, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia is prepared to take all necessary steps to strengthen Syria’s defensive capabilities, which includes supplying S-300s. On April 23 the minister told reporters that the matter of supplying S-300s had not yet been decided, but Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed this topic with the Defense Ministry “in the context of preventing the Syrian Arab Republic from being inadequately prepared for aggressive attacks such as the one that took place on April 14”. Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov did not comment on the possible shipment of S-300 systems to Syria.