Russia Deploys Sophisticated Electronic Surveillance Aircraft Over Syria, Iraq

  • Our Bureau
  • 09:55 AM, October 26, 2015
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Russia Deploys Sophisticated Electronic Surveillance Aircraft Over Syria, Iraq
Ilyushin Il-20 coot

Russia has deployed Ilyushin-20 (IL-20 Coot) surveillance planes over Syria and Iraq to collect data from long distances and for all weathers.

Russia has deployed over 30 Sukhoi fighter jets, cargo planes and attack helicopters for combat in Syria. The two surveillance Il-20 planes help Russia in intelligence gathering, Debkafile reported Monday.

Syria’s ruler Bashar Assad first let Moscow in with the use of a base where 30 fighter and bombing jets are now parked. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday, Oct. 24 granted the Russian Air force the use of a facility 74 km from Baghdad.

Russian presence in the two bases draws a strong arc of Russian aerial control at the heart of Middle East. By boosting its two extremities with state-of-the-art electronic warfare systems, Moscow has imposed a new reality whereby it will soon be almost impossible for any air or ground force, American or Israeli, to go into military action above or inside Syria or Iraq without prior coordination with the Russians, the website reported.

The IL-20s, the Russian Air Force’s top-line intelligence-gathering aircraft, brought over from the Baltic Sea, have exceptional features as an intelligence platform. Their four turboprop engines enable it to stay airborne for over 12 hours, using its thermal and infrared sensors, antennas, still and video cameras, and side-looking airborne (SLAR) radar to collect a wide range of data from long distances, day or night, in almost any kind of weather.

The Coot-20 collates the data gathered and transmits it to intelligence or operational command centers in Moscow or its Latakia air base by powerful jam-resistant communications systems, satellites and other methods.

DEBKAfile quoted military sources saying that an Il-20 Coot has been sighted in the last few days at the Iraqi Al Taqaddum Air base near Baghdad.

Another Russian super-weapon was brought to Syria by Russian cargo ships: Nine MT-LB armored personnel carriers fitted with the Borisoglebsk 2 electronic warfare systems, which are among the most sophisticated of their kind in the world.

These APCs were secretly driven aboard tank carriers to Nabi Yunis, which is the highest peak of the Alawite Mountains along the coastal plain of northwest Syria, and stands 1,562 meters (5,125 feet) above sea level. To render the highly complicated Borisoglebsk 2 device system impermeable to attack, our electronic warfare experts describe it as fitted into the interior and walls of the nine APCS, along with receivers that can pick up transmissions on a wide range of frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum.

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