Syrian Air Defense Force
|Syrian Arab Air Defence Force|
|President of Syria||Bashar al-Assad|
|4,356,413 (2005 est.), age 15–49|
|3,453,888 (2005 est.), age 15–49|
|225,113 (2005 est.)|
The Syrian Air Defense Force (SyADF) is an independent command within the Syrian Armed Forces. It has been merged into and then separated from both the Syrian Arab Army and the Syrian Arab Air Force. The Syrian Air Defense Force controls four air defense corps, eleven air defense divisions and thirty-six air defense brigades, each with six SAM battalions. It is equipped with 650 static S-75 Dvina, S-125 Neva/Pechora and S-200 launchers, 200 mobile 2K12 Kub and Buk launchers and over 4,000 anti-aircraft guns ranging from 23mm to 100mm in caliber. There are also two independent 9K33 Osa SAM regiments, each with four batteries of 48 mobile SAMs.
The Syrian early warning system comprises Long Track; P-12 Spoon Rest; P-14 Tall King; H-15 Flat Face; P-30 Big Mesh; P-35 Bar Lock; P-80; PRV-13; PRV-16 Thin Skin mobile and static radar sites throughout Syria.
Current structure and organization
- 36,000 active personnel
- Ten Air Defence Division HQ
25 teams defense (130 batteries) Including:
- 62 batteries:
- 11 teams - 27 batteries - SA-6 Gainful (PU SAM 2K12 Square);
- 14 Battery - SA-8 Gecko (PU SAM 9K33 Osa);
- 12 Battery - SA-22 Greyhound (96K6 Pantsyr S1E);
- 9 Battery - Buk-M2
- 62 batteries:
- 11 teams - 60 batteries with SA-2 Guideline (CP-75 Dvina / S-75M Volga) and SA-3 Goa (S-125 Neva / S-125M Pechora) (Being upgraded);
- Two SAM regiments with SA-5 Gammon(in each brigade to 2 divisions for 2 batteries each).
- Four SAM battalions
- Eight Static/Shelter SAM batteries
- Four SAM battalions
- Two independent SAM Regiments
- Four SAM batteries with SA-8
- 320 Lavochkin CP-75 Dvina/S-75M Volga (SA-2) launchers - under upgrade
- 148 Pechora +12 2M Isayev S-125 Neva/S-125M Pechora (SA-3) launchers - under upgrade
- 48 S-200 Angara (SA-5) launchers
- 200 2K12 Kub (SA-6) launchers
- 60 9K33 Osa (SA-8) launchers
- 20 9K31 Strela-1 (SA-9) launchers
- 35 9K35 Strela-10 (SA-13) launchers
- 20+8 9K37 Buk М1-2+Buk М2 (SA-11) launchers+
- 6 9M311-1M Tunguska (SA-19) launchers
- 50 Pantsir-S1 (SA-22) launchers
- + S-300 (missile) (SA-10) launchers - Delivered but not completed. Status unclear.
In October 1973, the Syrian air defense forces (SyADF) shot down 102 Israeli warplanes using mostly the 2K12 Kub (SA-6) SAMs.
In 1982, Israel claimed that 19 of 20 batteries, consisting of five tanks with each tank armed with three SA-6 missiles, were wiped out in Operation Mole Cricket 19, and the SyADF claimed to have shot down 43 Israeli warplanes over Lebanon in the same year.
On 22 June 2012, the Syrian Air Defence Force shot down a Turkish McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II reconnaissance jet. The jet's pilots were killed; both Turkish and Syrian forces searched for them before recovering their bodies in early July. The incident greatly escalated the tensions between Turkey and Syria.
In mid-November 2013, Turkish sources claimed the SyADF targeted, for ten seconds, three Turkish F-16 fighters that were flying near Dörtyol, over southern Hatay province after deploying from the Incirlik and Merzifon airbases. The incident came after a Turkish F-16 shot down a Syrian Mi-17 helicopter on September 16 after Turkey claimed it crossed into Turkish airspace in the same area.
On 17 March 2015, a US MQ-1 Predator drone was shot down by a Syrian S-125 missile.
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