When Donald Trump authorized the launch of 59 tomahawk missiles at Bashar al-Assad’s Al Shayrat military airbase outside Homs, the immediate reaction questioned how Russia would react since Syria and Russia are allies. We now know they were not happy, but why didn’t Russia stop the attack with their anti-missile missiles?
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Russians have one of their self-proclaimed state of the art Growler anti-missile defense systems on Latakia Airbase on the Syrian coast. The Growler has reportedly been able to intercept targets at a range of 250 miles and at heights of up to 90,000 feet.
So why not protect your allies? One of the reasons may have been that since Trump notified Putin before the strike they decided to forgo protecting their allies.
It’s highly unlikely, but a possibility. The real reason many experts think is the tomahawk missile simply outsmarted their Growler defense. Tomahawks aren’t your run of the mill missile; they’re a missile that is quite sophisticated as it skims the surface of the earth using a preloaded map and has a range of 690 miles. They can be fired from submarines, ships, and even dropped by bombers.
The unique missile is fired by a rocket to get it to speed, then it switches over to a small turbofan engine to cruise to its targets. The turbofan emits little to no heat so infrared is minimal. Another reason why these have been so successful in the Middle East is the flat terrain.
Viktor Ozerov of the Russian Upper House Defense and Security Committee commented, “Regardless of today’s US attack on the Syrian air force air base, our air base [in Latakia] and logistics centre in Tartus are secured from the sea and from the air by S-300 and S-400 systems.”
Russia has proclaimed it as an 11,000 MPH missile defense system that can take out incoming missiles. However, the Growler has yet to be tested against US equipment.
h/t Daily Mail