Moscow’s red face after the abject failure of the much-vaunted Russian air defenses in Syria.
From Business Insider:
Moscow offered two explanations on Monday as to why its Russian-made Pantsir S-1 missile defense system embarrassingly took a direct hit during an Israeli airstrike last week.
“One is that it had already used up its ammunition reserve,” Aytech Bizhev, the former deputy commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force, said, according to RT. “The other is that it was simply turned off; it wasn’t battle ready.” […]
But questions remain.
For example, why was the system turned off and not strategically placed or camouflaged given that there had been back-and-forth strikes in the previous two days?
Also, did the Pantsir S-1 run out of ammunition before the strike or during it? The latter doesn’t seem to jive with Russia’s excuses, given that it wasn’t camouflaged and turned off. The former also appears strange considering that the operators would want a loaded system since Israel and Iranian forces had been trading strikes.
Whatever the reason as to how the Pantsir S-1 took a direct hit, it wasn’t good advertising for the Russian system at a time when Moscow heavily depends on foreign military sales to boost its flagging economy.