Thirst for “Triumph”: Why the US does not get anti-aircraft missile systems

The destruction of any air targets, “smart” missiles and a circular view of hundreds of kilometers-the s-400 “Triumph” anti-aircraft missile systems have long proven their effectiveness. They are armed not only by Russia but also by several other countries, including Turkey. However, after the recent escalation in Idlib, Ankara decided to place Patriot SAMS on the border with Syria and has already requested them from the United States. About the main differences between these two systems
Vertical takeoff
The s-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile system is much younger than its overseas competitor — it was adopted in 2007. The American Patriot system has been in service since 1982, and the last version of the PAC-3 with upgraded missiles entered the military in the early 2000s.

The s-400 detects the enemy at a distance of up to 600 kilometers and accompanies up to 300 targets simultaneously. Patriot operates at a distance of no more than 120 kilometers. The Russian system has more than twice the range of the American system: 250 against 100. “Triumph”, firing at once at 36 objects in the sky, will hit a target moving at a speed of 4800 meters per second, that is, even hypersonic missiles. The Patriot limit is 2500 meters per second. Moreover, neither the rocket nor the helicopter will escape from the” Triumph ” even at a minimum altitude — the system will recognize and destroy the target a hundred meters from the ground. Patriot is effective only at altitudes of 500 meters — all that is lower, the SAM simply does not see.

Special attention should be paid to the combat filling. In contrast to the American competitor, the Arsenal of “Triumph” different ammunition. First of all, missiles of the previous generation of s-300 anti-aircraft systems. Also specially developed supermaneuverable guided missiles, as well as ultra-long-range missiles for the destruction of AWACS aircraft and electronic warfare, command posts, ballistic and hypersonic missiles. According to some reports, they will be the main ones for the next-generation s-500 anti-aircraft system.

The Patriot launcher consists of four containers — the missiles fly out of them at an angle to the horizon. For the reliable defense of an object from all directions, you need to place several vehicles around the perimeter. In the Triumph, the rocket is fired straight up using a powder charge, and only at a height of about thirty meters, the gas rudders direct it to the desired course. After that, the main engine is switched on. Thanks to the vertical launch, the range of the missile increases and the near border of the zone of destruction decreases. Thus, for a circular defense, only one installation is enough.

Another advantage of the “Triumph” is the ability to work freely in the conditions of intensive electronic counteraction. False goals do not deceive. S-400 is effective day and night in any physical, geographical and weather-climatic conditions. At the same time, the detection, tracking, distribution, and capture of targets are fully automated. And another thing: the Russian system, with all its advantages and advantages, is three times cheaper than the American one.

The only thing that Patriot can boast of before the “Triumph” is a real experience of combat use. Although this is not without a fly in the ointment. For the first time, the Pentagon used its SAMS in 1991-in operation “Desert Storm”. The Americans and their allies then deployed an entire air defense system: almost two hundred launchers covered airfields, seaports, military locations, oil storage facilities, and major cities.

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However, the effectiveness of anti-aircraft gunners was extremely low. Of the 130 tactical missiles fired by the Iraqi army at coalition positions, only 46 were intercepted. Although the conditions were most favorable for American air defense: the enemy’s attacks were mostly single, the fighting was conducted on the plain, and Iraq did not have electronic warfare equipment. Moreover, even if the Patriot intercepted the missile, most often only the shell of the munition was destroyed. The warhead remained intact and caused significant damage to ground objects.

The Americans tried to eliminate these shortcomings, but the modernization did not have a special effect.

In 2003, the United States again faced tactical missiles from Iraq. The effectiveness increased, but there was another problem: due to poor coordination of calculations of the complex and the air force, the SAMS shot down several allied aircraft. In addition, the Iraqis this time used cruise missiles. Patriot was ineffective against them — the radar stations of the complex did not see low-flying objects.

Patriot did not perform well in September last year in Saudi Arabia when the largest Saudi oil companies were subjected to a massive attack by cruise missiles and drones. Built on the basis of American SAMS, the country’s powerful air defense system failed to shoot down any targets.

The reputation of the leader
As for the Russian S-400, they have not yet participated in real battles. Such experience is available only in the previous generation of systems-the S-300, which serves in Syria and protects the sky over the Hmeimim airbase. Despite many attempts by terrorists to break through the air defense of the base, they never succeeded.

The s-400 is recognized as the best anti-aircraft system in the world not only by domestic military experts but also by foreign ones. Moreover, there is already a queue of foreign customers for these air defense systems.

And this is despite the power of American weapons companies, which are doing their best to promote Patriot around the world, and the enormous pressure Washington has on potential buyers. Turkey has already purchased Russian anti-aircraft systems, India has ordered five regiments, and Iraq is likely to follow new Delhi’s example.

And an even more advanced s-500 Prometheus anti-aircraft system is on the way. These SAMS have passed all tests, and the army is waiting for the first batch this year. The main task of the new system is to combat the combat equipment of medium-range ballistic missiles and Intercontinental ballistic missiles in the final and middle sections of the flight path.

According to the developers, Prometheus surpasses all existing and promising air defense systems and can intercept objects even in space at an altitude of hundreds of kilometers. The new missiles will cope with any means of air attack, including those that exist only on paper and will be implemented in iron in years.

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