VLADIMIR Putin’s outdated Syrian missile defence batteries could be crushed by USA war-technology if all-out World War 3 was to break out between the two heavyweights over war-ravaged Syria, a missile defence expert has claimed.
Dr Igor Sutyagin at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), an expert on Russian missile defence systems and strategic armaments, said Russian S-300 and S-400 missile defence batteries could fall short when up against Donald Trump’s forces.
He said Russia’s “air defence systems are designed to intercept high flying targets at a maximum range of about 250 miles”.
The limitations mean Putin’s planes could be crushed by the US as they are less optimal against low-flying jets and missiles.
Tensions are mounting over a possible American strike on Russia’s Middle East ally, Syria, following a chemical attack there on Saturday.
British ministers plan to gather to discuss whether to join the US and France in a possible missile attack on Syria that threatens to bring Western and Russian forces into direct confrontation.
Mr Trump warned Russia on Wednesday that missiles will be “coming, nice and new and smart”.
But Russia hit back by vowing to blow up US ships.
Mr Suutyagin said “There is no 100 per cent reliability, but still it will be much more difficult” for Russian SAM sites to intercept missiles fired from US stealth aircraft that can get up close and personal and locate the site first.
Speaking of Russia’s experience and capacity against and in comparison to America, he added: “One air defence battalion with an S-300 has 32 missiles.
“They will fire these against 16 targets – maybe against cruise missiles they would fire a one-to-one ratio – but to prevent the target from evading you always launch two… but what if there are 50 targets?”
By REBECCA PERRING
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