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Israel's Russian SAM Zapper

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The Jerusalem Post had an article recently on a secret electronic jammer that can render the Russian TOR-M1 and S300 anti-aircraft missiles useless.

If Russia goes through with the sale of its most advanced anti-aircraft missile system to Iran, Israel will use an electronic warfare device now under development to neutralize it and as a result present Russia as vulnerable to air infiltrations, a top defense official has told The Jerusalem Post.

The Russian system, called the S-300, is one of the most advanced multi-target anti-aircraft-missile systems in the world today and has a reported ability to track up to 100 targets simultaneously while engaging up to 12 at the same time. It has a range of about 200 kilometers and can hit targets at altitudes of 27,000 meters.

While Russia has denied that it sold the system to Iran, Teheran claimed last year that Moscow was preparing to equip the Islamic Republic with S-300 systems. Iran already has TOR-M1 surface-to-air missiles from Russia...

...A top IAF officer also said this week that Israel needed to do "everything possible" to prevent the S-300 from reaching the region.

"Russia will have to think real hard before delivering this system to Iran, which is possibly on the brink of conflict with either Israel or the US, since if the system is delivered, an EW [electronic warfare] system will likely be developed to neutralize it, and if that happens it would be catastrophic not only for Iran but also for Russia," the defense official said.

Neutralization of one of the main components of Russian air defense would be a blow to Russian national security as well as to defense exports. "No country will want to buy the system if it is proven to be ineffective," the official said. "For these reasons, Russia may not deliver it in the end to Iran."

One of our top Defense Tech readers and someone who's in the know on these matters commented to me:

The information warfare that is going on between Russia and Israel is the end result of the report back in Sept. 2007 that Israel bombed a site in Syria where the purpose was not known and results of it showed up in the news back in March: "Syrian Nuclear site bombed."

When in fact one of the purposes for this raid was to probe the defense of Syria which happen to contain this S300 and M1 TOR systems. It was speculated that Israel was using this as a counter-marketing stunt, more specifically to leverage Russia. By this I mean to have a lever which financially encouraged Russia to back away from Iran in order to isolate that country completely by selling the counter-measure system to whomever needed to defeat the anti-aircraft system.

If this was even remotely true, this already affected the future sales of this system. Technically speaking, even without Israel doing this publicly, those who care about the ECM/EW stuff already knew all they needed to know. Bluff or real, the affects are obvious. The next thing to look for is to see if Russia continues to sell these systems to Iran. Well played Israel!

I mean, Israel is known for its psywar prowess -- though of late they haven't been terribly sophisticated about it. The Syria thing still seems a mystery wrapped in an enigma to me, with rumor and innuendo woven into the brittle fabric of truth. I like our informed reader's narrative here...It's definitely to tasty morsels for thought.

-- Christian

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