More Russian Missiles to Syria
This is a new version with a much improved guidance system. Israel fears that some of these missiles will be sent to Hezbollah, who might use them against Israeli ships or offshore natural gas field platform facilities. Israel is trying to persuade Russia to stop delivering the missiles but Russia is reluctant to halt these shipments. Iran appears to be paying for this, so the loss of income would be felt in Russia.
This sort of thing has been going on for a while. Two years ago Russia delivered 72 Yakhonts and 18 of the mobile ground launchers (each carrying two missiles) to Syria. Also included were five battery command vehicles. Typically a Yakhont battery consists of one of these vehicles, four launchers, and several more trucks carrying security and maintenance personnel and equipment. The 2011 shipment cost $300 million dollars. The missiles can be stored in their launch containers for seven years before they require major component replacements and refurbishment to stay operational. Yakhonts have a range of 300 kilometers and are very hard to stop.
No matter who wins the Syrian Civil War, the Israelis are going to have their hands full dealing with all the new threats, courtesy of Moscow.
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