JERUSALEM, ($1=3.35 Israeli Shekels) — The 48N6E3 anti-aircraft missile was fired from the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system [NATO designation SA-10A Grumble] on an F-16 fighter of the Israeli Air Force. The information was officially announced on Israeli TV Channel 13, and earlier the news was already confirmed by TV correspondent Alon Ben-David on his Twitter profile.
Channel 13 says that after an Israeli F-16 carried out airstrikes on targets near the northwestern Syrian city of Masiaf on May 13, a “Russian” S-300 battery fired a missile at an Israeli plane. The Israeli military has not commented on the F-16 attacks or the anti-aircraft missile fired at the plane, which is not surprising, as it has been a long-standing practice.
At the same time, Russia’s Defense Ministry’s Reconciliation Center for Syria said in a press release that an Israeli fighter jet had carried out airstrikes “on a Syrian research center” in the western Syrian city of Masiaf and the port of Baniyas on May 13, but didn’t provide information about the rocket fire, as claimed by Channel 13.
At this stage, there is no information on whether the S-300 missile was Russian or Syrian, but it does not matter, as the Russian armed forces in Syria control the launch of S-300 missiles belonging to both Russian and Syrian armed forces.
It is a known fact that for years the Israeli Air Force has been warning the Russians about their planned airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria [the same is true of the US Air Force when it strikes from the border with Iraq].
Channel 13 announced that the 48N6E3 missile fired from the S-300 did not radar lock the Israeli plane. This means that the launch may have been “ballistic”, or the EW systems of the Israeli Air Force have managed to counter the missile.
The news of the launch of a Russian missile by an Israeli fighter comes at a time when relations between Russia and Israel are beginning to shake. The reason is the war in Ukraine. Until now, Israel has pursued a policy of not sending weapons to help Ukraine’s armed forces, but this was violated in recent weeks when reports emerged that Jerusalem “began to supply some weapons to Ukraine,” according to The Drive.
Russia has also criticized Israel that some Israeli officials attending a summit on arms redeployment for Ukraine at Rammstein’s U.S. military base in Germany last month.
The fact is, however, that this is the first documented launch of an anti-aircraft missile from the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system in Syria at an Israeli plane.
In 2018, Russia announced that Bashar al-Assad’s army would receive an unspecified amount of S-300s. Announcing the transfer of missiles to Syria, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the S-300 system would have a maximum range of 124 miles, in line with the PMU-2 variant, which uses the 48N6E3 missile, the most advanced export version.
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