Oh, Those Russians

Russia has reportedly modernised two Syrian air search radar as tensions between the Arab League and the West over President Bashir Al-Assad’s continued suppression of the rebellion against his rule continues.

The types of radar modernised has not been revealed, although a facility at Jabal Al Harrah, south of Damascus, and a radar positioned on Mount Sannine in Lebanon are thought to have undergone a range extension. The improvement in the performance of the Syrian radar is has reportedly sufficient to allow surveillance of air and maritime approaches from Cyprus and Greece.

Syria is thought to operate around 22 air surveillance radar. Systems deployed  include 36D6 (NATO reporting name ‘Tin Shield’) high- and medium-altitude surveillance radar; P-35 (NATO reporting name ‘Bar Lock’) E-/F-band ground control and interception radar, now considered obsolete; P-12 (NATO reporting name ‘Spoon Rest’) two-dimensional VHF early warning ground control radar, a similarly antiquated to the Bar Lock; P-19 (NATO reporting name ‘Thin Skin’) height-finding radar, 66/5N87 (NATO reporting name ‘Back Net/Back Trap’) E-band and P-14 (NATO reporting name ‘Tall King’) A-band medium-range early warning radar.

Of all these systems, only the Tin Shield can be considered a modern system. Syria tends to cluster its radar around the southern and eastern approaches to Damascus. Similarly, radar stations are also scattered across the northern approaches from Turkey, and protecting the western approaches from Beirut and Cyprus. The southeast of the country remains largely free of surveillance radar.

Published by Thomas Withington

Thomas Withington is a writer and analyst specialising in electronic warfare, radar and military communications.

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