The National Interest: The US Air Force in Europe worries in mortal danger from the Russian S-400

The US Air Force worried about the deployment in Kaliningrad advanced Russian air defense systems, according to The National Interest.

According to Russian media reports, as early as 2012, Moscow began the deployment of a new anti-aircraft missile system S-400 “Triumph” on the territory of its isolated Baltic enclave. While Europeans from the outset voiced doubts about this placement, the US military openly expressed their concern with the emergence of these modern systems, only in 2015. The fact is that in case of conflict, weapons, like S-400 is able to turn huge chunks of the territory of Poland and Lithuania in the area virtually inaccessible to ordinary flights of military aircraft.

According to the commander of US Air Forces in Europe, General Frank Gorani, the Russian troops deployed in the Kaliningrad enclave layered and integrated air and missile defense. Russian weapons that the Highlander does not have specifically deployed in such a way that “makes it difficult to access this area.” With the range to engage targets at a distance of 250 miles (400 km) S-400 can control the flight of aircraft over 30% in Poland.

Russia also deployed in the Kaliningrad region substantial ground forces, including three fully equipped brigades, including one elite marine brigade and two infantry brigades. These mechanized infantry supported by artillery brigades, an armed 54 guns of large caliber. Air support provides 7054 airbase, which has many fighters, attack aircraft and combat helicopters. The total number of staff more than 10 thousand. Man.

Moscow also launched a permanent ballistic missiles “Iskander-M” that can deliver a nuclear warhead to a distance of 310 miles (500 km). Weapons that accurately hits the target with a deviation of only 15 feet (5 m), not covered by the agreement INF. According to some reports, the actual range of the missiles reaches 435 miles (700 km).

While deployed troops in Kaliningrad can serve to intimidate Russia’s neighbors in peace, from Moscow’s perspective they are necessary, first of all, to solve the defensive problems. After the collapse of the Soviet Union Kaliningrad found itself isolated from the rest of Russia. The only direct access to the enclave lies across the sea, there is a potentially vulnerable railway line, which runs through Belarus and Lithuania. Thus, during the war in Kaliningrad would be extremely vulnerable to attack position.

(Continued in the comments)

15 January 2016

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