Who Wins: Russia's S 300 vs Israeli's advanced F-35 fighter jet
With the S 300 surface to air missile systems are now being deployed and to be active soon in Syria by the Syrian army. A question is to ask now, who would win between the S 300 vs Israeli air force?.
Allegedly Russia has delivered S-300 PMU-2 to Syria, which can track up to thirty-six aerial targets and engage six at a range of two-hundred kilometers, is vastly more formidable than its Pantsir and Buk counterparts. The PMU-2 is an export-oriented “deep modernization” of the original S-300, capable of intercepting a wider range of projectiles including MRBM’s (medium-range ballistic missiles).
Given how much trouble the S-300’s predecessor, the S-200, has given the Israeli air force in the recent past, operational S-300 batteries should pose a serious potential threat to IDF aircraft operating within western Syrian airspace where the Syrian government forces are heavily concentrated. Russia has already deployed two even more advanced S-400 systems in Northwest Syria, but these are domestic (not export) models stationed for the sole purpose of protecting Russian assets. By comparison, these S-300’s pose a much greater tactical threat to the IDF because they will be operated directly by the Syrian Army.
At the same time, Israel’s new fleet of stealthy Lockheed Martin F-35I Adir versions of the Joint Strike Fighter afford Tel Aviv the ability to defeat the S-300 with relative ease, Israeli army source said.
“The operational abilities of the air force are such that those (S-300) batteries really do not constrain the air force’s abilities to act,” Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel’s regional cooperation minister said, “You know that we have stealth fighters, the best planes in the world. These batteries are not even able to detect them.”
One of the F-35’s primary missions from its very inception has been the suppression (SEAD) and destruction (DEAD) of advanced enemy air defenses such as the S-300. Indeed, the F-35 will only become more formidable in the SEAD/DEAD role as time goes on and the aircraft is upgraded with the full operational capability Block 3F and subsequent Block 4 software and hardware configurations. Tel Aviv declared its F-35s operational in December 2017 and recently signed an agreement in February with Lockheed Martin to incorporate Israeli specific modifications to bring its planned 50-aircraft fleet to a Block 3F+ configuration by December 2021.
Even without the full Block 3F capability immediately available, Tel Aviv’s F-35 fleet would offer the Israel Defense Force a potent capability to strike against Syria’s newly acquired S-300s, certainly a better capability than offered by any conventional fighter. However, there is little prospect that Israel would attack those batteries while the Russian still more or less have those weapons under their direct control.
Source: The National Interest