An Up Close And Personal Look At The Russian Firepower Deployed In Syria

Tyler Durden's picture

As Moscow’s air campaign in Syria enters its sixth day, both the West and The Kremlin have put their respective media propaganda machines into overdrive. 

In many respects, the geopolitical stakes for both sides are the highest they’ve been in decades. The West cannot afford to stand by and watch Russia do in a matter of weeks what the US has failed to accomplish in 13 months. Put simply: if Moscow declares victory over ISIS within the next month or two (and that appears as likely as not), Washington will be left to explain to a bewildered public what just happened. To the uninitiated, it will appear as though Russia’s military is far superior to the US Army when it comes to fighting terror and on top of that, Iran’s now well publicized role will not only cast further doubt on the nuclear deal, but will also raise questions about the contention that Tehran is committed to financing and exporting terror. 

For Russia, the powerplay in Syria represents nothing short of a return to the world stage after decades of flying below the radar as a second rate superpower. Putin has now proven that Moscow can project its influence with virtual impunity and as Monday’s “accidental” violation of Turkish airspace suggests, The Kremlin is getting more brave by the day in the face of what certainly looks like a de facto surrender by the West. 

All of the above presents a real challenge when it comes to analyzing the conflict. That is, with both sides in full-on spin mode, getting at the truth is even more difficult than it would normally be in an East vs. West standoff and while US foreign policy is something of an easy target when it comes to pointing out hypocrisy and outright incompetence, one also has to be careful to avoid taking the Russian line at face value because after all, this is all just a contest to control the narrative and thus to help determine how history will remember the Syrian civil war. 

With all of that said, watching Russia effectively humiliate the West by bragging day in and day out is nothing if it’s not amusing, and indeed, as we said on Sunday, the leaked diplomatic cable from 2006 which outlines Washington’s intent to effectively start a civil war in Syria leaves one completely uninclined to be at all sympathetic to the ridiculous situation the US and its allies have found themselves in and on that note, we present the following rundown from Sputnik and RT, respectively, of just what type of hardware Moscow is using on the way to routing anti-regime elements in Syria.

Of course one could easily create a similar profile for Washington's military hardware with the only difference being that the US likes to perpetuate the myth that there's a degree of separation between the Army, the government, and weapons manufacturers.

From Sputnik:

A wide range of missiles and bombs equipped with advanced guidance systems are currently being used by Russia in its air campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria.


During precision airstrikes, Russian weaponry is launched from high altitudes to evade mobile air-defense systems.


The precision bombs typically use the GLONASS navigation system to destroy targets, the Russian developed alternative to GPS, whereas missiles are guided by a weapons system operator.



The precision weapons include is the KAB guided bomb, which includes two modifications such as KAB-250 and KAB-500.The KAB-250 bomb was designed in the 2000s for the Russian fifth generation PAK-FA fighter jet. Its distinctive egg-shaped form can be explained by the fact that this bomb is mounted in inside the plane's bays.



The bomb is also used by advanced Russian warplanes, including the Su-34 bombers, which are currently taking part in the air operation in Syria. The aircraft drop these bombs on Islamic State targets from an altitude of 5,000 meters.


The concrete-piercing BETAB-500 bombs are equipped with a jet booster, which allows the bombs to completely destroy any underground installation.


From RT:

The Su-34 is a strike fighter and the most modern aircraft to take part in Russia’s operation against Islamic State in Syria. 


Its development began in the mid-’80s as a replacement for the Su-24, with the country’s military receiving the first batch of new warplanes in 2006. 


The jet is designed for the supersonic penetration of enemy airspace at treetop level in the most severe weather and battle conditions. 


The two-pilot strike fighter is sometimes referred to as ‘a flying tank’ due to an armored cockpit and efficient standoff weapons, which enable it to survive not only missile fragments, but even direct hits from small caliber arms.



The Su-24 is a tactical bomber meant to fly below the radar and hit ground targets from low altitudes. The military wanted the plane to have short take-off and landing capabilities to so that it could be used on small airfields.


An early prototype had four turbojet engines that complemented two main engines during take-off. The scheme, however, proved to be very inefficient, so instead designers gave it variable-sweep wings.


The plane first entered service in the early 1970s. A decade later a better variant called Su-24M with a different radar and targeting equipment needed for more precise weapons was introduced. This model is the backbone of Russia’s tactical bomber. Sukhoi continues upgrading the aircraft.



Su-25 is another Russian Air Force work horse, introduced in early 1980s. The jet was designed for close air support – that is, to directly help ground forces engage the enemy.


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Five8Charlie's picture

We have Obama.


Scares the hell out of me.

Antifaschistische's picture

"the Russian developed alternative to GPS"

Is this because in a real SHTF situation the Russian's plan on taking out the GPS Satellites?   They wouldn't really consider doing that would they?   lol

Publicus's picture

China's been testing anti-satellite weapons. In WW3 there will be no satellites at all.

A Lunatic's picture

Which means all you little sheeples at home might want to reconsider a lifestyle that depends on all of that shit being streamed into your lives on a daily basis.....

COSMOS's picture

GI ISIS should be scared.  We have lost our moral compass a loooong time ago and are now on SATAN's self-chosen War Criminals team.  And we have the dual passports to HELL to prove it.

Divine Wind's picture




Please do not equate the capabilities of the U.S. military with that of Down Low Barry.

U.S. armed forces jump to the tune of CINC, including playing paddy cake with ISIS.

That is just the way our system works.

If unleashed, the U.S. military would lay waste to any opponent in short order.

This is the way they train. They are just not utilized in this capacity.

It is clear few of those who post on this site in the evening have any military experience.

Most sound like whiny little bitches.


Joe Trader's picture

I like how their aircraft techs are armed. Well done - no beaurocracy there.

greenskeeper carl's picture

this post misses the point. The point isn't russia's hardware, which isn't any more impressive than anything we have. The point is the russians are actually TRYING to get rid of 'ISIS', and are therefore able to do so. While the JSF is overpriced junk, Americans hardware has consistenly beaten russian hardware in every conflict they have faced each other. This isn't a hoo-rah, 'murika post at all. the reason US weapons and air power havent decisively defeated ISIS is becasue that is not what the US govt wants to do, it wants them to succeed and get rid of assad. Any modern nation can destroy ISIS from the air, the russians are just actually trying to do where the US was more interested in another misguided attempt at regime change.

Latina Lover's picture

Technologically, most American Hardware may be ahead of the Russian equivalents,but lag when it comes maintaining it during extended battle conditions. Russian tech is designed to be very tough, versatile and fixable under battle conditions. In the Ukraine, for example, 50 and 60 year old artillery pieces still function despite heavy continuous use.

Never One Roach's picture

The gubmint is still trying to explain what happened in Vietnam and Korea.

green sheen's picture

It's nice to have a government and media you can trust. At least I imagine it would be. Case in point.

giovanni_f's picture

US has participated in only one major war successfully so far. Against Germany. I say "participated" because the victory over Germany was fought out mainly by the Russians. US would never EVER have managed to prevail. In short, the US has NEVER fought a serious war against a serious enemy. From WWII forth, US has fought exclusively under conditions of absolute domination of the air space and has always chosen to destroy from the air indiscriminately, thereby causing 20-40 millions of civilian casualties, depending on how one counts.

In Syria, the western forces would be blown to smithereens the moment they tried to enter the game. Therefore the west will try to figure out other ways to undermine Russia's clean-up mission, in all likelihood engaging via proxies. The war in Syria will last for years if not decades as it is there where history has chosen one of the major superpower pissing contests to take place.

Poundsand's picture

Are the Russians going to turn it up to '11'?  You know, when you need that extra kick.

rocker's picture

Rubio told CNBC he is willing to take it to 12 if he gets in. So we are now fighting over who fights for Syria. Unbelievable. Eh.

Manthong's picture

I just wish I could hear Jan PShitaki say” “Oh, the Russians ain’t doin crap over there…  next question…”. but she's faded into the rectum of DC now.


Skateboarder's picture

I turned on the teevee just now. Dad must've left it on Fox last (god knows why). Holy moly - they are pushing this like f*king warmongering kooks. They are calling for "Cold War 2.0." Watching this Kelly lady saying "our adversaries", finding herself being a f*cking bigot and correcting herself with the utmost demeaning body language, "our adversaries as most see it"... gross. She's a hottie though. Ok, enough of this gayness. *switch to Souch Park*

CheapBastard's picture

Carly "The Bloodthirsty" Fiorino will match Rubio and raise him to 15!

AsinineBovineFeces's picture

South Park is off to a great start this year! "Fuck 'em all to death!"

giovanni_f's picture

"The gubmint is still trying to explain what happened in Vietnam and Korea". I can help out: Millions of killed civilians with many of them burned alive, countries destroyed, Result: Two lost wars.


giovanni_f's picture

"The technical superiority of the USS". You mean that superiority the world had the opportunity to admire on that September day when 19 cave men who were known to the CIA were allowed to hijiack air planes and steer them into two high-rises causing all three of them to collapse?

Poundsand's picture

Actually, our hardware is a lot better, as our the boys who deliver it both on the ground and in the air.  But you're right, we have a bunch of politicians who pick targets, play for PR points, avoid PR problems at all costs.  How long did Barry wait to send in the boys to get Osama? (heck, 8 months just to get his facsimile shows you how bad it's gotten).

Turn 'em loose and then you would see some shock and awe!

My only concern is supplies.  Back in '93 we are down to how many Tomahawks? Remember they destroyed the tooling to make them before they had the next one ready to roll out.  Reliance on high tech weaponry is fine and dandy, until you need 100x more than you thought you would.  Then it's back to mass production of whatever you can get to shake off the wing.

MrPalladium's picture

"Actually, our hardware is a lot better,"

It is certainly a great deal more expensive. The problem is that the defense contractors and the military officers monitoring them control the narrative on how good our weapons might be. You really have no clue until you encounter another capable opponent and run the equipment in the fog of actual war.

So much of our defense budget is spent maintaining clearly obsolete equipment and base structure (shades of General Pershing's horse cavalry at the outbreak of WWII - my father was there at the time) including all surface naval vessels which would be destroyed in a few days in any war against China or Russia. Also, half the military bases in the U.S. are really nothing more than glorified jobs programs. And most of the many foreign U.S. bases are nothing more than U.S. soldiers as goats tethered to the stake as bait to provoke attack and obtain an excuse for war with the nations they surround. I know, I was in that position many years ago in Berlin and nothing has changed.

We are thus the empire of the unready, shackled by the past and lead by fools.

Mentaliusanything's picture

 The USA is lagging (sadly) in the electronic protection feild.

Currently the Russians have a capability (proven) to block F22 raptor short and long distance missiles, They have another more frightening tool which scares the hell out of the Pentagon

oh and something comes to mind about lead pencils continuing to work well because of simplicity - well that again is mandated in all Russian weaponary.....

Divine Wind's picture





If you consider Voltairenet, a liberal Fwench rag, authoritative, you really need to wake up.

The U.S. excels at electronic warfare, in both offensive systems as well as countermeasures.

Time to loosen your skinny jeans.

They are cutting off circulation to your brain.

McCormick No. 9's picture

I dunno... google "magrav technology".


Who's on the right side of this? America funded and supported Al Quaeda, and then allowed the Israelis to false flag 9/11. Now, the CIA funds ISIS, complete with fake beheading videos, produced by an Israeli/dual citizen woman.

The US fomented the Syrian civil war, as well as the Ukranian civil war.

This is all pretty evil and fucked up, NTM Iraq, Afghanistan, (Kunduz), etc.

In the "let's do evil and fucked up things to other nations" race, the Russians are seriously lagging behind the US. They are not even close to having the same evil and fucked up fake NGO troublemakers, or the sophistiation of an Orwellian media propaganda system, or the ability to prop up evil and fucked up regimes, or to replace one evil and fucked up regime with total chaos and anarchy.

Yep, the US is definitely ahead in the evil department. Not that the Russians are not capable. They just haven't caught up yet.


ConfederateH's picture

The chosenites have countermeasures for all US and Russian technology which their jew scientist spies ALWAYS betray the goy.

Overfed's picture

American equipment, for the most part is very, very good. The best there is in many cases. However, most of it is also extremely maintenance intensive, which of course requires solid logistical support. Russian gear is generally super tough, reliable, and easy to service in the field.

giovanni_f's picture

Flying pianos are the future of combat. With the F35 the US has the best flying piano in the world. No doubt. The Russians are decades behind the US when it comes to the flying piano strategy. The Iwan doesn't even have plans for it.

(P.S. Are you sure you know what you're talking about?)

monk27's picture

The moment you hear that the Russians have moved some Su-35s anywhere in Syria, better start worry. It means the Ruskies are ready to kick American ass, and yes, that includes the much acclaimed F-22 which is, lest we forget, '80s technology...

datura's picture

You say that the USA excels at electronic warfare??? Then you know absolutely nothing. 


Gen Hodges acknowledged that US troops are learning from Ukrainians about Russia's jamming capability, its ranges, types and the ways it has been employed. He has previously described the quality and sophistication of Russian electronic warfare as "eye-watering." 

Buckhout (former chief of the US Army's electronic warfare division) said that the US lacks a significant electronic attack capability. "We have great signals intelligence, and we can listen all day long, but we can't shut them down one-tenth to the degree they can us," she said. "We are very unprotected from their attacks on our network."


Konstiantyn Liesnik, an adviser to the Defense Ministry's reform office and head of its working group for logistics and procurement, noted the US military's experience in recent years has concerned insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, not a powerful, organized and well-equipped adversary like Russia. "The future of war is in the Ukraine, and I think in this case our experience is very important to US personnel how war should be in this century and next century," Liesnik said.

Urban Roman's picture

And hey, how 'bout dat Palladium?

I wish I had a mess o that shit right now.

Buck Johnson's picture

Actualy no, US military goods aren't better than Russian.  Both have limits and draws.  What the US is afraid of is the fact that Russia has the capability one to negate their advantages and two of course nukes.  Remember during the second gulf war we went nuts when Russia was giving Sadam Hussien devices that scrambled cruise missiles guidence systems and others using GPS.  Also Russia has advanced anti-tank weaponry that can destroy and at least disable our M1 tanks.  And many of their stuff that they sell or use is old or was developed back in the 80's or 90's.  Same with the US. 

ThirteenthFloor's picture

GC. Agree. The US military is used to protect the USD which has been abused globally, and the interests of a global corporate elite, not to defend a sovereign nation state it's stated purpose.

gezley's picture

But the US has never had to face modern Russian hardware in the hands of Russians, in a war between the US and Russia. That's the difference. You can't judge the inferiority or otherwise of Russian hardware in the hands of Serbs or Iraqis or whoever else. That's the stuff Russia exports. It's not the top-of-the-range stuff Russia keeps for itself. Reserve your judgement for the day US fighter jets face S-500 and S-400 SAMs in the hands of Russians, not S-300s in the hands of Iraqis. Reserve your judgement for the day the US military faces Smerch, or the Su-34, or SATAN, or the Armata, or Spetsnaz. In other words, reserve your judgement for the day the US military is up against the Russian military and not second-rate proxies of Russia. Something that has not yet happened.

I think you wil find that a different matter completely.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

If things ever get this far along, it won't be long before ICBM's are flying over the north pole.

anti-republocrat's picture

Americans hardware has consistenly beaten russian hardware in every conflict they have faced each other.

Would you care to list the conflicts in which the US and either Russia or the USSR have faced each other?  Remember, Russia was not involved in Korea.  Or are you talking about times the up to date US military took off obsolete Russian hardware as in Gulf War I?  Vassals do not get the latest and greatest.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Even junk has value to somebody. One man's trash...

silvermail's picture

Americans hardware has consistenly beaten russian hardware in every conflict they have faced each other.


I often hear this myth. Before the war in Vietnam, this myth has been very popular. But the reality looks different. In Vietnam, "obsolete" Soviet MIG kick ass, "the latest" American Phantoms with a score of almost 2 to 1. This a score to losses in dogfights. Keep in mind that these wins the Vietnamese pilots who had little experience. If in the sky of Vietnam were Russian pilots , the score in favor of the MiG-s would be 1: 3 or 1: 4.

It is one thing to fight against the old Soviet weapons to the armies of Iraq or Libya. And quite another thing to fight against the new Russian weapons, which Russian army owns right now.

greenskeeper carl's picture

god damn, some of yall are dense. you miss my point entirely. My point is that the central theme of this isn't "awesome russian hardware" although Im sure it is super awesome.... the point is that they are actually TRYING to accomplish heir stated mission, unlike the US military. If/when russia does wipe them off the mat, it will be because they make a determined effort to do so, not because their equipment is any better than ours or any other moedern nations.


The other point is how it will be spun by the us govt if russia really does wipe them out. They will be in a difficult position and look stupid as hell no matter what, which is why Im hoping the russians succeed. They will either have to admit that they weren't really trying to defeat their stated enemy and were more interested in regime change, and just using ISIS as a scare tactic to keep the sheep scared, or they will have to say that the military is full of overpriced junk that doesn't work near as good as claimed. In reality, both of those things are true, but thats not something the obama admin is going to admit to.

Boxed Merlot's picture

...not something the obama admin is going to admit...


I get your point and agree.  The use of "volunteers" in the US military is similar to college atheletes, (or the Oakland Athletics for that matter.)  It's training for when the recruit can go to work for the Saudi's and get the "big bucks".  That's the carrot that's held out in front of the most promising performers.  So of course the US is hesitant to go in and end the careers of these professionals that graduated from the ranks of volunteer status to the big league of professional mercinary.  And not only that but after they've played for awhile they can look forward to joining the ranks of the coaching profession.  There's even been those who've gone all the way to superstar Michael Jordan / Nolan Ryan ownership status.

Problem here is this is not a game, it's not entertainment, and anyone that enjoys the brutal realities of combat are a greater liability than an asset.





Scooby Dooby Doo's picture

Divine Fart is Chelsea Manning.

Macon Richardson's picture

And perhaps should be renamed "Passing Wind".

OldPhart's picture

My Indian name is "Ancient Wind".

mendolover's picture

You might be right, but the key sentence in your comment is "U.S. armed forces jump to the tune of CINC, including playing paddy cake with ISIS."  As long as bathhouse Barry is carrying out his orders it looks like paddy cake is all your military is going to do down there.  These concisciousless bastards have ruined the US reputation down in the ME and now look at what it looks like.  Russia threatening a naval blockade?  Those bad ass army men better go home and get their cocks out of the fridge.

DisasterCapitalist's picture

I think what you mean is that most of us have enough sense (and self-worth) to find better career paths.

Allen_H's picture

Terrorist USSA cannot build shit ! ALL all their stuff is a complete failure, the F-22 is too expensive, and not as good as they think, the F-35 smoking joint fighter (which is modelled after the Russian Yak – 141) is a complete money trap for the people building it, last I heard, it had 700+ problems to resolve, Hahahaha. The Littoral Class Freedom (if you can believe them calling anything this!) as well as the Zumwalt (very N4Zi sounding) navy vessels is the same as the F-35, just the sea version, it is so unsafe that even the navy will not guarantee the survival of the crew, on both! Hahahaha.


The latest beach landing craft they are making is a joke, it looks and moves like pre WWI. Serious, look it all up, it’s the UHAC (Ultra Heavy-lift Amphibious Connector) Quite a fancy name for a floating elephant/turd. All three sea vessels are floating coffins.

Medium News:  F’d: How the world got stuck with the World’s worst new combat aircraft.

Littoral Combat Ship Will Be Modified, If Not Replaced

Can the Navy's $12 Billion Stealth Destroyer Stay Afloat?

LA Times: The Pentagon's $10 billion radar doesn't work

DOT&E Report: The F-35 Is Not Ready for IOC and Won't Be Any Time Soon

Delivery of Troubled Zumwalt Stealth Destroyers Delayed for US Navy

A small list af articles I have saved, every now and again I get inspired to add more onto the list, but it is telling. NO ?

progro's picture

US military is filled with undisciplined ghetto and white trash.

cowdiddly's picture

To be frank Russia is still using some of its older stuff like the Su25s and  su24 nice heavy fighter/bomber but which is being replaced by those awesome duckbill su34s but some of that old stuff still proved pretty effective in Ukraine.

I mean who we kidding, if Russia wanted to they could level the whole place in 3 months with those Tupolev 22s and T95s and some moabs and thats still conventional. God help us all is one of those SATAN missles was ever used, the deadliest fastest nuke of all. I even hate the sound of that wicked weapons name. Moscow to Ny in 25min, not enough time to find a good rock to crawl under. Noone would survive the response which makes this whole endeavor of poking the sleeping bear even more insane.

This article came by my screen today and they supposedly moved two of these bad boys in place. An interesting piece to say the least. with a range of 300km I think from what I seen in Ukranine these might have been turned on for a second or two behind the border in Russia to give some of those battles a little bump but who knows, I dont think anyone can prove.

 I think its things like this that they are bitching about and shitting bricks because most of the ground troops look to be to protect an airbase that is operating 25km from hostile forces. Lets see the US do that. Impressive feat in itself

And why use Russians when you have plenty of hezbolla, Iranian, and Syrians willing to do the diry work. It would be stupid.

Jamming the Jihad. can permanently fry electronics and take out low orbit satelites.

Sudden Debt's picture

The Eurofighter is the best plane in the world and yet recently it was beaten in a dogfight by a 25 year old F16.

It all depends on the pilot flying the plane.


cowdiddly's picture

I watched personally a General Giap whip in rapid succession, half the worlds major Powers with nothing more than a bunch of worn out obsolete Soviet equipment and guerilla fighters. Sometimes toys mean JAck.

France-Kicked their ass

US- Kicked our ass-,(most would not Believe what we pounded that place with)

China thought they wanted some next- Kicked the crap out of them and then when over to Cambodia and kicked the crap out of the Kymer Rouge just for good measure.

Baddest General the world has ever KNown- respect

Eat your heart out Mcarther and Patton, your mere babes.

But yes that Eurofighter is nice, I think you guys should stick with it. Its a winner. And the old F16 is the best fighter  we ever made IMO