Media Attacks Attempt to Discredit Russia’s Almaz-Antey S-400 System

30.10.2017/Москва/Sputnik Now that a number of foreign states are holding consultations with Russia on the delivery of the most effective S-400 air defense system, many rivals of the Russian defense industry, who are interested in discrediting it, are planning and conducting media attacks against this surface-to-air missile system.

A new series of materials to this effect was published in October, soon after reports of agreements between Russia and Saudi Arabia on S-400 purchases. In an attempt to stop the triumphant march of Russian weapons, all the media trash regarding the S-400 was collected. These compilations are also backed by the obviously biased opinions of NATO military experts.

The position of Dave Majumdar, the defense editor of The National Interest, stands out among the opinions. In his article, he tries to refute the Russian Defense Ministry’s claims of superiority regarding Russian air defense systems over NATO’s stealth technologies. Mr. Majumdar quoted his colleague, military expert Mike Kofman, who claims that Russian air defense systems can, at best, detect US-made stealth aircraft, but that hitting them is an unattainable task for the S-300 and S-400 systems.

A story by retired US Marine Corps Major Dan Flatley in US publication Business Insider serves as another source for the authors of a series of materials on Russia’s alleged «substandard» air defense systems. Major Flatley claims that he had flown an F-35 fighter some time ago and that the pilots of America’s most expensive weapons system are not afraid of Russian and Chinese air defense systems because detecting an F-35 by radar is not enough to track the plane and hit it with a surface-to-air missile.The authors of these stories say nothing about the motives behind Flatley’s statements. If he ever did fly an F-35, he obviously did not fly it over Russia or China. But it becomes clear how several meaningless «expert opinions» compiled by American propagandists can be used to fabricate a story slandering the effectiveness of Russian-made air defense systems.

In reality, there are few incidents where the aforementioned US planes were targeted by Russian air defense systems. Moreover, retired Major Flatley obviously had nothing to do with these incidents. Regular media tirades that attempt to discredit Russia’s S-400 system are taking place. Each time, they coincide with the successful export of Russian air defense systems.

The previous outburst took place in January 2017, when influential US publication Defense News reported that Russian S-400 systems had failed to detect Israel’s F-35 fighters that were hitting targets in Syria. This material was later deleted from the Defense News website, but excerpts were broadly scattered through English- and Russian-language online social networks and blogs.

This story overlooks the fact that Russia and Israel have signed agreements on informing each other about military operations in Syria’s air space and that the operators of Russian air defense systems simply do not target Israeli planes. The first «expert opinions» on this claim date to a time when Iran, a rival of the United States, received Russian-made S-300 air defense systems.This is all part of a major media campaign against Russia’s Almaz-Antey defensive systems whose efficiency has been proven by repeated military tests. However, neither the authors of these stories nor the «experts» from foreign publications have any idea how USAF F-35 fighters would try to penetrate an S-400 defensive perimeter in real life. The Americans have always been good at inventing things, all the more so when any practical actions seem unlikely.

Today, Russian-made S-300, S-300V4, S-350 and S-400 surface-to-air missile systems can effectively repel large-scale air attacks by all modern air assault weapons and can operate in conditions of intensive radio-electronic warfare in any region of the world, including equatorial deserts and areas covered with permafrost. China, Algeria, Vietnam, India, Venezuela, Iran and other countries now operate Almaz-Antey systems. Russia has not received any claims from users during the history of its military exports.

By Alexander Mikhailov, leading expert, Military-Political Analysis Bureau.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.