Friday, 4 September 2009

Does Syria possess the 'Igla-S" (aka. SA-24)?


Wired's Danger-Room, here

"... At last month’s Moscow air show, Russia proudly displayed the Igla-S, its latest generation man-portable air defense system, or Manpads, which it is selling to foreign customers. The shoulder-fired missile is proving a hot commodity on the international market, and a major concern to the U.S. government because of the threat it poses to commercial and military aircraft. The irony is that the United States is desperately afraid that other countries will get their hands on the Igla-S (also known as the SA-24), even though the United States is having problems acquiring one for itself.

The Igla-S has greater accuracy, longer range, and more lethality than its predecessor. It also has a dual-band infrared seeker and is more difficult to jam than older systems, a particular concern for those developing defensive systems.

The Pentagon and the intelligence community rarely talk about their efforts to acquire foreign weapons, which they use to understand adversaries’ capabilities and to develop countermeasures. Going under the innocuous sounding name of “Foreign Materiel Acquisition,” the Pentagon essentially funds arms dealers to go forth and find foreign technology for the U.S. military — and acquire it by whatever means necessary.....

One of the reasons the SA-24 may be so hard to come by is that Russia keeps relatively close hold on its latest technology. (It’s also highly possible that the U.S. government has, in fact, acquired an SA-24, and is simply keeping quiet about it.) But Venezuela, for its part, proudly displayed its SA-24s in a military parade earlier this year, and Syria is suspected of purchasing the missile from Russia, although neither side has yet to acknowledge it."

Posted by G, Z, & or B at 11:42 AM

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