Its really strange that a poor country like Syria has an IADS system, especially the SAM element, far superior to that which any country in NATO has on its home soil.
It is pretty fantastic actually, and a hint that they really don't fear the Soviets or the Russians were coming because they weren't expecting them to bring any air power...
Connecting a network is not only plug and play.
Are you suggesting their IADS requires a complete rebuild and reprogramming when you add a new system like a 14.5mm HMG unit?
An IADS is not a little black box that you plug your gun or missile to and all of a sudden you are playing a video game.
An IADS is a structure and groupings of command vehicles and positions linked together to basically collect data from an enormous variety of sources to collate the information together and to deliver that information to all the operational components of the system with orders.
Effectively it is a ground based AWACS... not AEW... AWACS.
The difference is that with AEW you might get a call that enemy fighters are coming from a particular direction... get ready to engage... with AWACS the targets appear on your map outside the range of your radar but based on data from another radar located somewhere else and you are allocated targets depending on your location and the enemy... if you are short range missiles you can't engage bombers at long range but if they launch cruise missiles you will be designated to engage them as they come past... together with units in front of you and behind you. If you have long range missiles you will be tasked with shooting down the bombers at extended ranges in the hope of getting them before they launch their stand off weapons...
During the Battle of Britain they had radar, but they also had guys on fishing boats calling in sightings and people on the coasts and plenty of other sources calling in information... sometimes the information was wrong, but usually when four or five sources tell you they hear bombers in a location and you know yours are not operating there there is a good chance something is up so you might send aircraft to look.
The point is that an IADS uses multiple sources of information... as you add platforms you also add their sensors as well as their weapons to your available options with dealing with the enemy. Communication is two way with central command directing the weapons to engage the targets in the most efficient way without having everyone on alert 24/7 or flying patrols 24/7... you can rest while your area is quiet, and in locations that are under attack everyone is allocated a target so you have the best chance of taking out all the targets... imagine a flight of 24 F-16s start flying over Syria... without an IADS you wont know they are there till they enter your radar view... so you need to keep your radar on to see them... you might get a call from another SAM battery or HQ but it is pretty basic... when the aircraft enter your radar range you might start firing and the battery next to you might start firing too... in such a case you might collectively launch 40 missiles but because you are not coordinating your activity you might actually only be targeting 4 of the aircraft in the group. Eventually on your screen there are 24 targets which you might label A1 through to A24, the next battery might do the same but their A6 is not the same target as their A6 so how do you tell them to engage half and you will engage the other half?
With IADS you have warning of the attack so you are ready... the numbers of targets are known and specific targets are allocated and those target IDs are shared by everyone... so coming in off the sea they might get allocated G36 through to G60, but G43 is on everyones battle screen as G43... so a battery on the coast will be allocated a selection of the targets to engage based on their distance and direction as well as the missiles they are equipped with, while the battery next to them will be allocated different targets to engage... information about the batteries ready to fire missiles are available to HQ so the first battery might have a faulty missile... its target will be allocated to another missile... either in that battery or in another battery.
And IADS is basically a two way communication system between air defence assets and a command system.
Syrian stuff is pretty outdated and they can't upgrade it easily to work with russian modern stuff. That would need new C&C posts and deap modernization of the launchers too. Russian stuff is totally digital contrary to syrian stuff.
Russia has had these IADS for decades and uses many of the outdated stuff the Syrians use... in fact they have stuff that is even older.
That doesn't matter... an SA-3 is perfectly adequate for shooting down high flying drones or cruise missiles cruising at medium altitudes... why waste a brand new missile you can save for more difficult targets the SA-3 would have problems with?
That is another part of an IADS... it can optimise the weapons used to suit the threats in question, so drones and high flying bombers trying to use standoff weapons can be engaged with otherwise obsolete weapons... SA-4 or SA-5 can still bring down targets...
Even their newest buk m2 and pantsir are export version and have little in common with russian softwares that allow connecting an integrated network, let alone russian IADS.
IADS don't require its components to be built with them in mind... otherwise Russia would need to build a new IADS every time it introduces a new missile or gun system.
Think of it in terms of something like a Shilka.... it doesn't take much of an upgrade to install a simple computer that receives data from a command vehicle that directs it towards targets.... Shilkas have always had command vehicles that direct the battery so the vehicles in the battery are not all shooting at the same target and leaving other targets free to do as they please.
Effectively an IADS is the system used for a single battery expanded to include all the air defence assets in the country.
You don't need a brand new Shilka... a few changes to the electronics and comms systems and maybe quite a few changes to the command vehicle that operates with it and it will be fine... a new laptop inside that shows enemy aircraft from external radar sources showing your location so when the target is within range you can set your scan to the sector where the target is coming so within a second or so you will get a detection and lock and you can start opening fire... instead of sitting there scanning 360 degrees all the time looking for targets... targets that will detect you and either attack you from stand off ranges with missile or fly around your effective gun range. With the IADS you can see them coming... you know which you are to engage... and you can effectively ambush them when they are in the danger zone of your weapon system greatly increasing your chances of a kill and decreasing your chances of getting killed or simply being bypassed and flown around.
Russian IADS is a national security item.
Of course it is, but they are upgrading all the time so while the Su-57 is a secret there will be Su-35s that can be sold and even versions of the Su-57 that can be sold that would do excellent jobs without revealing anything about Russian Su-57s.
They will also have mobile IADS that move with Army and Air Force air defence forces to other places... like Syria... and of course export models that they can communicate with... otherwise you run the risk of your allies shooting down your planes in error .Obviously they had an agreement with Israel so they didn't need to implement it, but since the Israelis abused the situation Russia has now implemented a solution.
The Syrians IADS is connected to the Russian IADS... it only makes sense. The Russians are not everywhere in Syria so their radar and sensor coverage only comes from a few locations... by adding the Syrian systems including civilian systems they fill in a lot of gaps for themselves. In terms of the other way the Russians created both systems and should be able to control what the Syrians see, but the idea was to avoid mistakes so it makes sense to let the Syrian AD forces know what is what in the air.
Don't expect them to integrate it into syrian system which could lead a leak to USA by a soldier low on money.
What is he going to leak... the codes we used last week were... the codes will be megabytes of symbols... you would need electronic copies.
And so what... the Americans already fly through Syrian airspace.... why would they care about the codes?
Frequency of datalinks, frequency of radars, range of datalinks ... plenty of usefull things for US.
All things easily detectable from international airspace in the Med or Syrian airspace or Turkish airspace or Iraqi airspace or the airspace over Jordan...
I doubt there is any integration made. More likely some sort of information exchange by radio at different levels by russian and syrian radar operators.
Yeah, it took months to put in place because Syrians don't know how to use radios...
But if that was all it was why were the Israelis so upset and why do they shoot from standoff distances now?
Russia and USSR offered already build in IADS fonction in all of its air defence systems and radars. Then it's a matter of what you buy specially in terms of command and control posts that really makes the "intergrated" in IADS.
You do understand that air defence systems are already designed to receive target information from other platforms anyway... an IADS is just that over the whole country with a command component added.
The export country will ask the producers to have an IADS that works only with the systems it buys. Don't expect to plug an egyptian S-300 with a venezuelan S-300.
That should be the same with syrian and russian stuff.
So what you are saying is that Saudi Arabia would be fucked, because it uses a mix of air defence systems so it would be impossible for them to ever have an IADS.... they would need one for Patriot and one for european air defence SAMs in addition to the one for Russian SAMs and potentially another one for Soviet SAMS or Chinese copies of Soviet or Russian SAMs?
An IADS is a communications and command network that links sources of air target data and air defence weapons with a command and control structure.
Most of the times it means replacing the radio in the command vehicle of an air defence battery, but for more modern or upgraded systems each vehicle gets a datalink so they can see a radar picture on their screens populated with data from other sources in the network... if they move then they might move to a dark area where there is no effective low level radar coverage so turning on one of their radars will light up that dark area and reveal any hidden targets... the point is that that dark area will be lit up for everyone on the network so everyone will see the targets. You might be in a Tunguska battery with radar detection capacity well beyond the range of your 30mm cannon and 10km range SA-19 missiles but your 35km range search radar might detect an F-15E flying low and fast that the nearby S-400 battery didn't see because of a line of hills... the F-15E knew this and was trying to sneak up on the S-400 but now the S-400 knows it is there it can fire an ARH 9M96 to intercept the target... the Tunguska couldn't reach it but it could see it... the S-400 could reach it but could not see it... together they shoot it down.
Of course the IADS might decide that the F-15E is approaching a Pine battery with its radar switched off and that the very low flying F-15E could be shot down using the much cheaper missile so the Pine battery might launch a missile first to see if they can take it down in radar silence...