The Game-Changer

Unlike Syria, which has accused Israel of targeting one of its defense-related facilities on Wednesday, the foreign media has reported that Israel actually hit a convoy carrying "game-changing" weapon systems to Hezbollah on the Syrian-Lebanese border (near the Bekaa Valley).

If that latter report is true, what kind of arms could qualify as "game-changing?"

The media has been all abuzz about the possibility that the alleged convoy was carrying SA-17 systems. The SA-17, dubbed "Grizzly" by Western armies, includes Russian-made surface to air missiles, and is considered the successor to the SA-6 (which debuted in our part of the world in the 1970s).

The SA-17's mobility and flexible modus operandi make it highly dangerous. It can be fired from a vehicle and can be easily concealed. It can down aircraft that fly at high altitudes (over 40,000 feet), as well as at low altitudes, and engage several targets simultaneously. Moreover, because the SA-17 has an effective range of about 30 km (18.6 miles), Israeli pilots were forced to adapt their training routines.

The truth is that the Syrian military also has the Pantsir-S1 system, which is more advanced than the SA-17 and has better precision. In fact, it is one of the most modern air defense system of its kind. According to various reports, that system was used to down a Turkish Phantom jet near the Syrian border last summer. If Hezbollah were to lay its hands on this armored rocket system, Israel Air Force activity in Lebanese and Israeli airspace would be severely compromised....

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.