The Syrian Air Force may become one of the strongest in the region in the future


Turning the tide of the war with the rebels, official Damascus was able to pay more attention to its aviation in order to counter the more serious threats in the face of Turkey and Israel. Recently Syrians got another batch of MiG-29 fighters from Russia, but how efficient the Syrian Air Force is, we will now try to find out, writes the American edition of Military Watch.


Currently, modifications of the MiG-29 fighter are the most combat-ready aircraft in the SAR. All other types of fighters simply do not make sense to consider. The MiG-25 is incredibly expensive to operate for Damascus, and the MiG-23 is morally and physically outdated. Over the past almost 10 years of war, little has remained of the once powerful air force. Many planes were destroyed on the ground. Therefore, Damascus decided to invest in the MiG-29 as the most optimal option for its performance.

Since 2019, the Syrians have begun not only to expand their MiG-29 fleet with new and more advanced machines, but are also gradually modernizing early modifications of these fighters received from the USSR during the Cold War. The MiG-29 was designed to outperform the United States Air Force F-16 and F / A-18 light and medium fighters in aerial combat. During the unification of Germany, it turned out that the MiG-29 surpasses Western fighters in its flight characteristics, and the short-range air-to-air missiles R-73 give it an even greater advantage at close range. At the time of the collapse of the USSR, Syria had three squadrons of MiG-29A (30 units), but without modernization, they are not able to compete in the sky with the aircraft of their closest neighbors.


Syrian MiG-29 attacks militants during raging conflict

Syria today faces significant threats from Turkey and Israel, which rely on the F-16C / D / I as their primary fighter. That being said, Tel Aviv also has a number of heavier and more powerful F-15s that have violated Syrian airspace in the past. And recently, the Israelis also got the F-35.

In 2020, Syria received its first MiG-29SMT from Russia. The initial order implied the delivery of a more advanced MiG-29M, but the war made its own adjustments. The MiG-29SMT is a base glider of the MiG-29A, modified to approximate its characteristics to the MiG-29M. It has a Zhuk-ME radar, new avionics and multifunctional displays in the cockpit.

At the same time, the MiG-29SMT contains more fuel and, thus, increases its flight range to 2100 km. The relatively short flight range of the MiG-29A was a serious drawback.

The added weight due to the greater amount of fuel is compensated by the integration of Series 33 RD-3 engines, each of which develops 81 kN thrust - more than the old RD-33 engine. However, unlike the MiG-29M, composite materials are not used in the aircraft's construction.

In the 2000s, Syria began modernizing the MiG-29A fleet. They are armed with R-77 medium-range air-to-air missiles (up to 110 km). In 2019, the Syrian Air Force MiG-29A installed onboard electronic warfare systems "Talisman" (Belarus). These changes allowed the MiG-29A to somewhat narrow the gap with the Turkish and Israeli air forces.

The progress of the Syrian Air Force is clearly visible, but the MiG-29SMT is absolutely not enough to withstand its neighbors. Given that Damascus is an ally of Moscow, it could well buy the latest MiG-35. Then the Syrian Air Force may become one of the strongest in the region in the future. Much depends on how soon Damascus can restore its the economyto be able to purchase new combat aircraft.
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  1. Michael1950 Offline Michael1950
    Michael1950 (Michael) 25 February 2021 20: 07
    +3
    How can the air force of Syria, "breathing on its own," suddenly become stronger not even the Israeli air force, but the Turkish air force ?! What shishi and what kind of equipment supplies ??
    Not even funny ...
    1. Kristallovich Offline Kristallovich
      Kristallovich (Ruslan) 25 February 2021 20: 23
      0
      What shishi and what kind of equipment supplies ??

      "Shishi" were in Syria before the war. Now they, of course, do not. But this is a matter of time. Russia entered the SAR for decades and it is in our interests to create a strong army there. If shabby Armenia can afford the Su-30SM, then the Syrians, having restored the country, will easily buy the MiG-35.
    2. Oleg Rambover Online Oleg Rambover
      Oleg Rambover (Oleg Pitersky) 25 February 2021 22: 02
      -2
      Quote: Michael1950
      What shishi

      What, on our shishi, citizens of the Russian Federation.
    3. Kapany3 Offline Kapany3
      Kapany3 26 February 2021 09: 52
      -1
      Quote: Michael1950
      How can the air force of Syria, "breathing on its own," suddenly become stronger not even the Israeli air force, but the Turkish air force ?! What shishi and what kind of equipment supplies ??
      Not even funny ...

      Ordinary oil SHISH, and I won't say anything about Moscow's interest in this.
  2. Cyril Offline Cyril
    Cyril (Kirill) 25 February 2021 20: 48
    -1
    The air defense of Syria, despite the supply of S-300/400, somehow did not become very strong.
  3. Michael1950 Offline Michael1950
    Michael1950 (Michael) 25 February 2021 20: 54
    -3
    Quote: Kristallovich
    What shishi and what kind of equipment supplies ??

    "Shishi" were in Syria before the war. Now they, of course, do not. But this is a matter of time. Russia entered the SAR for decades and it is in our interests to create a strong army there. If shabby Armenia can afford the Su-30SM, then the Syrians, having restored the country, will easily buy the MiG-35.

    How will it help them against the Air Force even Turkey? (I'm not even talking about Israel)
    1. Kristallovich Offline Kristallovich
      Kristallovich (Ruslan) 25 February 2021 21: 01
      -1
      How will it help them against the Air Force even Turkey? (I'm not even talking about Israel)

      So no one says that the Syrian air force will become the strongest in the region. But some of them are quite possible.
  4. Binder Offline Binder
    Binder (Miron) 25 February 2021 20: 57
    -1
    The Syrian Air Force has never been able to confront either the Turks or the Israelis on equal terms, there is not the slightest chance that a similar situation could develop in the future. No matter what the most modern Russian-made aircraft the Syrians get at their disposal, this will not change the state of affairs. The Syrians should always remember the shameful defeat in the skies over Lebanon in 1982. and sit at their bases like mice under a broom.
  5. Diver d Offline Diver d
    Diver d (Oleg) 25 February 2021 21: 03
    +3
    Yesterday we touched upon the topic of further purchases for the needs of the Israeli Air Force. I want to share the latest news, which became known only an hour ago.

    Israel Defense Ministry chooses Lockheed Martin CH53K helicopter

    The new helicopter will replace the attack helicopters. Alternatives were a Lockheed Martin or Boeing Chinook helicopter.
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz said: “Decades later, the decision to purchase new assault transport helicopters for the Air Force is a significant step in the formation of the IDF and is essential for a wide range of operational tasks in daily life and in battle. The new helicopter is adapted to the operational needs and tasks of the changing battlefield "

    Defense Minister Benny Gantz today accepted the recommendation of Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Aviv Kohavi and Director General of the Ministry of Defense Amir Eshel. The new helicopter will replace the attack helicopters used by the Air Force since the late 1960s.

    The decision was made at the end of the professional work of the personnel, which included flying on all proposed helicopters, as well as exploring various alternatives in terms of engineering, technology, maintenance and much more. All details, including the number of helicopters requested, will be submitted to the Ministerial Equipment Committee for approval as soon as possible.

    The final discussion, chaired by the Minister of Defense, was attended by the Chief of Staff, Director General of the Ministry of Defense, Air Force Commander Major General Amikam Norkin and Chief of Staff General Tomer Bar.

    After this news I am going to publish another one, about how the danger to the Israeli Air Force, posed by the newer Syrian aircraft, will very soon be neutralized.
    1. Diver d Offline Diver d
      Diver d (Oleg) 25 February 2021 21: 37
      +1
      Today, all the media in Israel went around the news that the RAFAEL concern has developed a smart interceptor missile
      The novelty is capable of hitting a target at a distance of 100 km from the launcher


      Derby ER rocket launch (Photo: RAFAEL Press Office)

      The Israeli defense concern RAFAEL has completed tests of the Derby ER interceptor missile with an increased range. During tests carried out at the Shedma test site in southern Israel, the operation of control systems, as well as the accuracy of missile guidance, were checked. Derby first hit a target more than 100 km from the launcher.

      On Thursday, February 25, the press service of the concern released a video and photographs taken during the test. Although the missiles are classified as air-to-air, they were launched from the ground.
      Note that the Derby rocket system is for export. Its previous versions are used by the armed forces of several states. The IDF Air Force is armed with Python missiles, which are also produced by RAFAEL.

      The concern explained that the increased range of the missile makes it possible to intercept and destroy enemy combat aircraft and drones in enemy airspace. Derby rockets are equipped with a feedback system that allows them to adjust their course and other parameters after launch.
      The missile can reach the target in a fully automatic mode. It is equipped with an active radar system that allows you to pursue and hit a target in any weather conditions and at any time of the day.

      Derby ER missiles are adapted for use on various types of combat aircraft, including F-15, F-16, F-18 (USA), HAL Tejas (India), Eurofighter Typhoon (Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain), Saab JAS 39 Gripen (Sweden), etc.


      Derby ER rocket (Photo: RAFAEL Press Office)

      RAFAEL named the Derby ER the most advanced and efficient missile of this class produced by the concern.
      “Our concern has been developing air-to-air missiles since its inception,” said Reserves Brigadier General Pini Yungman, who heads RAFAEL's Air Defense Systems Division. “It was we who created the first Israeli missile designed to be launched from aircraft. The systems will be a milestone in the path to air superiority. The missiles, which can be launched from ground-based installations, significantly increase the effectiveness of air defense systems. "

      I would like to note that usually, Israeli missiles are air-to-plane or surface-to-plane missiles. hi
  6. Michael1950 Offline Michael1950
    Michael1950 (Michael) 25 February 2021 21: 16
    -4
    Quote: Kristallovich
    How will it help them against the Air Force even Turkey? (I'm not even talking about Israel)

    So no one says that the Syrian air force will become the strongest in the region. But some of them are quite possible.

    - There are not the slightest economic prerequisites for this.
  7. Michael1950 Offline Michael1950
    Michael1950 (Michael) 25 February 2021 21: 19
    -4
    Quote: Kristallovich
    What shishi and what kind of equipment supplies ??

    "Shishi" were in Syria before the war. Now they, of course, do not. But this is a matter of time. Russia entered the SAR for decades and it is in our interests to create a strong army there. If shabby Armenia can afford the Su-30SM, then the Syrians, having restored the country, will easily buy the MiG-35.

    - "Weak" Armenia allowed itself to buy a Su-30SM - how did this not allow it to lose the war to Azerbaijan in Karabakh with a deafening crash ?!
    1. Stanislav Bykov Offline Stanislav Bykov
      Stanislav Bykov (Stanislav) 26 February 2021 02: 43
      +1
      How could only 4 fighters, especially without trained pilots, change the course of the war? They didn't even take off
  8. Michael1950 Offline Michael1950
    Michael1950 (Michael) 25 February 2021 21: 22
    -2
    In addition to 4th generation fighters, any air force requires:
    - AWACS aircraft;
    - electronic warfare aircraft and individual electronic warfare stations;
    - RTR aircraft and high-quality individual RTR stations;
    - UAVs of all types and stripes, from nano to mega.
    Who will provide this to Syria and for what money ??
  9. Michael1950 Offline Michael1950
    Michael1950 (Michael) 25 February 2021 22: 12
    -3
    Quote: Kristallovich
    What shishi and what kind of equipment supplies ??

    "Shishi" were in Syria before the war. Now they, of course, do not. But this is a matter of time. Russia entered the SAR for decades and it is in our interests to create a strong army there. If shabby Armenia can afford the Su-30SM, then the Syrians, having restored the country, will easily buy the MiG-35.

    - And how will the MiG-35 solve the problems of their Air Force ?! belay
    1. Stanislav Bykov Offline Stanislav Bykov
      Stanislav Bykov (Stanislav) 26 February 2021 02: 48
      -1
      And how will the MiG-35 solve the problems of their Air Force ?! belay

      It is very easy when they have 250-300 MiG 35s, they will be able to "deal" with you and the Turks
  10. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 25 February 2021 22: 30
    +1
    In general, another anonymous "maybe, maybe, maybe ..." br .....
  11. Michael1950 Offline Michael1950
    Michael1950 (Michael) 26 February 2021 03: 19
    -1
    Quote: Stanislav Bykov
    And how will the MiG-35 solve the problems of their Air Force ?! belay

    It is very easy when they have 250-300 MiG 35s, they will be able to "deal" with you and the Turks

    - My dear Stanislav, for a laugh you would first find out: how many MiG-35s are now in service with the Russian Federation ?? laughing lol
    1. Stanislav Bykov Offline Stanislav Bykov
      Stanislav Bykov (Stanislav) 26 February 2021 03: 56
      +1
      6 units, our Ministry of Defense relies on heavy fighters, for a small-sized Syria the mig35 is what you need
  12. Michael1950 Offline Michael1950
    Michael1950 (Michael) 26 February 2021 04: 24
    -3
    Quote: Stanislav Bykov
    6 units, our Ministry of Defense relies on heavy fighters, for a small-sized Syria the mig35 is what you need

    - And how many Su-30SM and Su-35S are now in service with the Russian Air Force ?! In the 21st year of the presidency of the Most Serene Highness, in 14 fat years with gigantic oil prices?
    https://regnum.ru/news/polit/2827280.html
    1. Stanislav Bykov Offline Stanislav Bykov
      Stanislav Bykov (Stanislav) 26 February 2021 04: 31
      +1
      Su-35 98 aircraft Su-30 116 aircraft, recently the contract was signed by 20 of both
  13. Michael1950 Offline Michael1950
    Michael1950 (Michael) 26 February 2021 04: 33
    -3
    Quote: Stanislav Bykov
    .- And how will the MiG-35 solve the problems of their Air Force ?! belay

    It is very easy when they have 250-300 MiG 35s, they will be able to "deal" with you and the Turks

    - Unfortunately, you do not understand a very simple thing: against the Israeli Air Force, these 250-300 MiG-35s - if a miracle happened and they would appear on Syrian airfields now, it would be just a huge pile of flying scrap metal. Even without the involvement of the F-35s. lol
    1. Stanislav Bykov Offline Stanislav Bykov
      Stanislav Bykov (Stanislav) 26 February 2021 04: 49
      +2
      Well, this is still the grandmother said for two, the same can be said about your f16
    2. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 26 February 2021 09: 18
      0
      You Israelis are like picking narcissistic storytellers laughing
      1. Cyril Offline Cyril
        Cyril (Kirill) 26 February 2021 14: 00
        +1
        They have the right, because they have proven their superiority over the Syrian Air Force more than once.
  14. Michael1950 Offline Michael1950
    Michael1950 (Michael) 26 February 2021 05: 01
    0
    Quote: Stanislav Bykov
    Well, this is still the grandmother said for two, the same can be said about your f16

    - A huge role in group-by-group air battles is played by the equipment of the aircraft themselves (stealth - EPR, airborne radar, RTR station and electronic warfare station) - Russian and Israeli avionics are incomparable, as well as AWACS aircraft - Syria does not have them at all, and if they appear , - they are immediately banged, first of all ..
  15. Michael1950 Offline Michael1950
    Michael1950 (Michael) 26 February 2021 05: 03
    -2
    Quote: Stanislav Bykov
    Su-35 98 aircraft Su-30 116 aircraft, recently the contract was signed by 20 of both

    - How do you plan to produce 250-300 MiG-35s for Syria at such a rate ?? By the XXII century?
    1. Stanislav Bykov Offline Stanislav Bykov
      Stanislav Bykov (Stanislav) 26 February 2021 05: 25
      0
      RSK MIG can produce 36 aircraft per year, at least 7 years
  16. Ronin Offline Ronin
    Ronin (Ronin) 26 February 2021 05: 41
    +2
    The author forgets about the Egyptian Air Force. He is not an enemy of Syria, but he is nearby and has both MiG-29 and Rafali in his air force ...
  17. Michael1950 Offline Michael1950
    Michael1950 (Michael) 26 February 2021 06: 06
    -1
    Quote: Ronin
    The author forgets about the Egyptian Air Force. He is not an enemy of Syria, but he is nearby and has both MiG-29 and Rafali in his air force ...

    - And a peace treaty with Israel, signed to replace the Sinai Peninsula. The Egyptian leadership knows very well that if suddenly one day it foolishly violates this treaty and climbs into Israel, then the next time they will not return the Sinai Peninsula for any price. Therefore, they will "sit on the priest evenly" and "breathe in two holes" ...
  18. gorenina91 Online gorenina91
    gorenina91 (Irina) 26 February 2021 10: 00
    +1
    The Syrian Air Force may become one of the strongest in the region in the future

    - It is also real ... like the fact that in the near future Syria will create its own ISS and begin to independently explore Space ...
  19. Michael1950 Offline Michael1950
    Michael1950 (Michael) 26 February 2021 11: 18
    -1
    Quote: Stanislav Bykov
    How could only 4 fighters, especially without trained pilots, change the course of the war? They didn't even take off

    - Wah-wah! Why couldn't they prepare 4 trained pilots ?! To retrain a trained pilot, you need a maximum of one and a half months, an instructor and an airplane for the entire shift. One plane for four and one instructor for four.
    1. Stanislav Bykov Offline Stanislav Bykov
      Stanislav Bykov (Stanislav) 26 February 2021 14: 12
      +1
      What are some years? You can see when they received them and when the war began, less than a year has passed. Armenia had nothing except Su-25 attack aircraft, change from them to a multi-role fighter and retrain in a month and a half is unrealistic
  20. Michael1950 Offline Michael1950
    Michael1950 (Michael) 26 February 2021 11: 20
    -2
    Quote: Marzhetsky
    You Israelis are like picking narcissistic storytellers laughing

    - You are here the most important storyteller and absolutely unscientific fiction. You don't even write science fiction, but fantasy stories about winged dragons and pink unicorns! laughing lol
  21. Michael1950 Offline Michael1950
    Michael1950 (Michael) 26 February 2021 23: 15
    -1
    Quote: Stanislav Bykov
    What are some years? You can see when they received them and when the war began, less than a year has passed. Armenia had nothing except Su-25 attack aircraft, change from them to a multi-role fighter and retrain in a month and a half is unrealistic

    - More than real, if the pilot with the Su-25 is experienced, with a good touch, competent and sensible. As a pilot-instructor I can say this.
    It is difficult, it requires a very great effort - but it is quite possible, it would be a desire. We must try very hard. The Armenians obviously did not have such a desire.
  22. margo Offline margo
    margo (margo) 16 March 2021 17: 06
    0
    Rave!! The Syrian Air Force on aircraft developed in the 60s will become one of the strongest in the region - don't be ridiculous. They will not be able to oppose anything to Turkey and even more so to Israel. The last few years have shown that there are no "super" air defense systems in the form of Armor, C300, etc. can not prevent the above countries from doing what they have in mind.