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Translated by Ollie Richardson

16:57:35
12/10/2016

Cont.ws

Russia is taking measures to strengthen the air defense of the Syrian army. As was reported by “Izvestia”, citing a source in military-diplomatic circles, the Russian authorities are considering the possibility of sending to Syria the surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery “Pantsir” system. As the newspaper notes, the relevant transaction was concluded several years ago, but for financial reasons was only partially realised. It was now decided to transfer to Damascus the remaining “Pantsir” without the requirement of immediate payment for the delivery.

Interviewed experts believe that Moscow’s decision was influenced by the tense situation in Syria and the threat of American strikes on Assad troops. “We are talking about the dispatch of those systems to Syria, which have been in the hangers since 2013 before the customer’s fulfillment of all contracted financial obligations,” said the interlocutor of the newspaper. “Scheduled work on the restoration of technical readiness and preparation of military vehicles for transportation is now being planned”.

The source refused to name the exact quantity of “Pantsir” that will be transferred to the Syrian military, but gave the understanding that it is not less than about 10 units. In addition, together with “Pantsir”, Syria needs to receive Command Posts and additional radar stations, which will allow them to use “Pantsir-S2” (when multiple systems are combined into one unit – an anti-aircraft battery) and, thus, increase the efficiency of their use in the event of massive attacks.

As was written by “Izvestia”, the contract between Russia and Syria to supply “Pantsir” was signed in 2008. Although the transaction was not disclosed, according to various estimates, it is from 36 to 50 anti-aircraft systems and no less than 700 missiles for them to the amount of about $730 million. The last batch of “Pantsir” was transferred to Damascus in 2013.

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