Russia Defends Syrian Military Bases From Massive Drone Attack

Russian security forces of the Khmeimim air base and Russian Naval CSS point in the city of Tartus ,thwarted  a terrorist attack “with massive application of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) through the night of 5th – 6th January 2018,” according to the Russian Ministry of Defence. The attack came just two days after an Islamic faction operating in the area launched a barrage of mortar rounds at the airbase severely damaging two planes.

The Khmeimim airbase in Syria

As darkness fell, Russia air defense systems detected “13 unidentified small-size air targets at a significant distance” swarming towards the bases. Ten assault drones were fast approaching the Khmeimim air base, and another three were advancing towards the naval base. All attack drones had payloads of what appears to be mortar rounds.

Photos believed to show damage to aircraft following a previous attack on New Year's Eve

As the drones approached both bases, Russia unleashed the Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile and Electronic Warfare Units. Seven UAVs were destroyed by the Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile system, and another six UAVs were hacked with radio equipment. Three of the UAVs landed in a safe area just outside the base, but the others exploded on various landing attempts. The Defense Ministry notes that the defense systems eliminated all threats with no casualties or damages.


It was the “first time that terrorists massively used unmanned combat aerial vehicles of an aircraft type that were launched from a distance of more than 50 kilometers, and operated using GPS satellite navigation coordinates,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Defense Ministry said experts are analyzing the aircraft’s flight components and bomb ordnances for clues. Flight data from the GPS indicates the UAVs could have been launched at a range of 100 kilometers (62 miles). If so, this would be the first long-range drone attack by militants in the Syrian War.

Currently, the Russian military experts are analyzing the construction, technical filling and improvised explosives of the captured UAVs. Having decoded the data recorded on the UAVs, the specialists found out the launch site. It was the first time when terrorists applied a massed drone aircraft attack launched at a range of more than 50 km using modern GPS guidance system. Technical examination of the drones showed that such attacks could have been made by terrorists at a distance of about 100 kilometers.

Further, the Defense Ministry says the extremists may have been aided by a “technologically advanced state,” as Russian specialist are now attempting to determine where the flight systems of the drones originated from.

Terrorists’ aircraft-type drones carried explosive devices with foreign detonating fuses. The Russian specialists are determining supply channels, through which terrorists had received the technologies and devices, as well as examining type and origin of explosive compounds used in the IEDs. The fact of usage of strike aircraft-type drones by terrorists is the evidence that militants have received technologies to carry out terrorist attacks using such UAVs in any country.

After Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial withdraw of troops from Syria back in December, militants have been eager to gain an edge with swarming high-tech drones that have remarkable long-range capabilities. The one question that Russia, and others, are asking in this incident: who is supplying the militants with these high-tech, long-range drones?


Moe-Monay Gert_B_Frobe Tue, 01/09/2018 - 08:27 Permalink

Funny comment+1

You have not been to Hobby Lobby in a while?  When I went into one in 2011 and there was nothing but fru fru girly decoration stuff. They tell me men and women are exactly the same but I was quite disappointed.  Happened to have convinced a little 5 ft tall Vietnamese engineer I work with occasionally to walk in after a meeting at Chili's restarant.   I am 6'5".  It was big hoss and little falsie and there was nothing a hetero male would like for as far as the eye could see.  I kept egging my buddy on saying oh it must be just a little further towards the back.  At that point I thought hey it would really funny if I grabbed his hand and held it.  He ran for the door and I fell on the floor laughing uncontrollably.

So do they have radio controlled airplanes up in the Chicago Hobby Lobby???

CIA / Israel supplied drones.  And they'll use this for a reason why we should not have drones in the USA without all sorts of paperwork.  I have concluded that CIA / Israel / NSA we would be better off without come what may.  Like Putin does not know with whom this stuff originated.  All we amateurs on Zh saw the title and already knew the usual suspects were up to it again.

In reply to by Gert_B_Frobe

HowdyDoody a Smudge by an… Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:56 Permalink

The Russian military thinks the terrorists used a 'cornflower' rapid fire mortar for the mortar attack. It uses a short belt feed mechanism and can fire off ~4 rounds within ~5 seconds.

The Russian MoD also notes a US Navy Poseidon P-8 sigint aircraft was flying offshore between Hmeim and Tartus at the time of the swarm attack. Just another of those amazing coinkydinks.…


In reply to by a Smudge by an…

any_mouse Joe Trader Tue, 01/09/2018 - 15:12 Permalink

13 drones is a "massive" attack? We are talking slow propeller driven small engine, right? Not exactly a swarm, either.

Could have been a test of Russian defense methods. Some were handled via kinetic attack. Some were handled via cyber attack.

A handful of geese hunters would have worked.

Syria, the Spanish Civil War for WW3.

In reply to by Joe Trader