Syrian attack: What is the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system?

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The United States, France and the United Kingdom joined together Friday to launch missile strikes against Syria following a chemical attack believed to have been ordered by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad last week.

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Air strikes were carried out and missiles were launched from ships, according to the Pentagon.

Syrian television is reporting that air defenses have responded to the attack, The Associated Press is reporting.

In the runup to Friday’s attack, the Kremlin said should the United States launch an attack, Russian-made anti-aircraft would be used to defend the Syrian government.

The anti-aircraft system Syria uses is the Russian-made S-400 Triumf – known as an accurate and lethal system.

Here’s what the s-400 can do:

  • Track multiple targets simultaneously.
  • Shoot down cruise missiles (such as a Tomahawk missile).
  • Shoot down ballistic missiles, jets and drones.
  • Be used against ground targets.
  • Launch rockets that travel at 10,000 mph.
  • Is also called the SA-21 Growler. It is a fourth-generation defense system.
  • Carry a mix of four missiles.
  • Launch a short-range, medium-range, long-range and extremely long-range missile.
  • Shoot down targets up to 19 miles high and 250 miles away.
  • Is a mobile system, mounted on vehicles.
  • Shoot down 80 targets at once.
  • Network  with radars to track targets.

(Sources: BBCCenter for Strategic and International StudiesNational Interest)

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SEVASTOPOL, RUSSIA - S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems of the Russian Southern Military District's missile regiment on combat duty. Sergei Malgavko/TASS (Photo by Sergei Malgavko\TASS via Getty Images)

Credit: Sergei Malgavko

SEVASTOPOL, RUSSIA - S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems of the Russian Southern Military District's missile regiment on combat duty. Sergei Malgavko/TASS (Photo by Sergei Malgavko\TASS via Getty Images)

Credit: Sergei Malgavko

caption arrowCaption
SEVASTOPOL, RUSSIA - S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems of the Russian Southern Military District's missile regiment on combat duty. Sergei Malgavko/TASS (Photo by Sergei Malgavko\TASS via Getty Images)

Credit: Sergei Malgavko

Credit: Sergei Malgavko

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