April 13, 2012 – DAMASCUS – Syria has bolstered its missile capabilities in response to repeated threats of a U.S. military to launch a pre-emptive strike against that country. This includes the delivery of Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles from Russia, according to RT TV news reports. The Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles have been supplied as part of Bastion mobile coastal missile systems, the source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Interfax. However, delivery of the weapons systems is just the first part of the process, and now “more time is needed to complete Syrian personnel training,” the source said, adding that the missile system will “enable Syria to protect its entire coast from a possible seaborne attack.” Damascus is expecting to receive at least two Bastion systems with 36 Yakhont missiles per each system for a total of 72 anti-ship missiles. More shipments of missiles are on its way to help protect Syria from U.S. military aggression and the possibility of a U.S. led invasion of that country. Due to the Yakhont’s short flying time (its speed is 2.5 times greater than the speed of sound) and the long effective range of its seeker head, the targeting of the missile need not be very accurate. The ability of Syria to observe the entire target area from a high altitude, augmented by the enhanced capabilities of the anti-ship missile control system, make it possible to cue missiles to hostile ships in a group and discriminate false targets. After launch, Yakhont’s early descent to a low altitude, combined with its supersonic speed and sea-skimming flight mode in the homing phase, make it possible to avoid detection and tracking of the missile by even the target’s most sophisticated air defense systems. –The Examiner
The French have now developed an effective counter-measure to the Yakhont missile threat. See story below. This could lead the way to a Western intervention in Syria.