S-400 in Syria is Effective Only as a Show of Russian Muscle and Deterrent

The Russian SA-21 or S-400 is the most dangerous operationally deployed long-range SAM in the world, but totally incongruous and disproportionate for the Syrian arena and war on the Islamic State. It is no more than a shiny new high-tech blunderbuss for swatting a tiny fly.
The S-400 has maximum effective range of 215 nautical miles or 130 nm based on missile variant, and it can track 100 airborne targets and engage six of them simultaneously at an altitude of up to 40 km, with 85-95 percent targeting precision.
The longer-range missile MEZ would blanket all but the eastern-most tip of Syria up to the ISIS Raqqa headquarters, as well as the USAF operating location at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, the Royal Air Force Akrotiri Air Base in Cyprus and a large part of Israel up to the Negev.
Even the shorter-range missiles will cover half of Syria. Extremely mobile, it features counter-low observable and counter-precision-guided munitions engagement capabilities.
The US F-22 Raptor is the only coalition airborne asset in Syria able to survive inside the SA-21 MEZ.
But this cutting-edge missile, like other advanced weaponry, also has limitations which have surfaced since its deployment to the region.
The S-400 has never faced trial in real battlefield conditions, or even against advanced Western jamming systems. All the same, no Western fighter jets or ballistic missiles are willing to risk challenging this menacing behemoth and so it has become a first-rate weapon of deterrence.
Therefore, French and UK warplanes bound for air strikes in eastern Syria are circling around through the Gulf and Iraq, or via Jordan, Iraq and Israel, to reach their targets, instead of flying in directly across the Mediterranean.

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