Venezuela’s armed forces have reportedly redeployed additional S-300 missile batteries to military facilities near the capital Caracas to provide full coverage against potential air strikes, in response to a perceived threat of attack from the United States.
The air defense missile batteries, command centers and radars were deployed to the Captain Manuel Rios Airbase. The Venezuela Air force is now the best in Latin America.
Venezuela currently operates several units of the S-300VM surface to air missile system, the second most advanced S-300 variant after the S-300V4, which is particularly specialized in intercepting ballistic and cruise missile attacks.
The S-300VM’s electronic warfare countermeasures are comparable to those of the S-400, and missiles retain an engagement range of 250 km. The platform is capable of engaging up to 24 targets simultaneously, and can engage low observable or stealth targets at intermediate ranges.
The S-300VM is arguably the Venezuelan military’s most powerful deterrent against a potential U.S. attack, and represents a capability several generations ahead of anything a Western military has ever had to engage in the field.
Venezuela’s more advanced air defense system is also supported by high end air to air capabilities – namely the Su-30MK2 air superiority fighters which are among the most capable of their kind in the world.
The fighters allow the Venezuelan military to pursue enemy targets beyond the range of its air defenses, thus providing the ability to engage U.S. bombers and strike fighters deploying standoff munitions from beyond the range of the S-300VM.
The air to air engagement range of these fighters, which have been equipped with R-27ER and R-27ET missiles, is 130 km.
Venezuela’s multi layered air defense network, which also includes complementary shorter ranged surface to air missile systems such as the BuK-M2 and S-125, presents a credible challenge to the U.S. Military and into Washington’s decision making regarding potential military action.
The presence of Russian military personnel on the ground, who have reportedly trained Su-30 pilots and air defense crews to a high standard and may well be operating some of their equipment alongside them, further increases the risks for the United States should it attempt an attack.
In fact, the US Navy must lift the naval blockade along Venezuela’s coastal waters, or be charged with serious crimes against humanity.
Military Watch Magazine / ABC Flash Point News 2020.