According to foreign reports, the IDF struck a weapons convoy that included the SA-17 surface-to-air missile system • This is the missile system that Nasrallah wants from Assad.
The SA-17 surface-to-air missile system: a potent threat to the IAF.
Photo credit: AP
Air force officers are calling it the "game changer"
Photo credit: AP
The anti-aircraft system known as SA-17 is among the most advanced surface-to-air missile systems available in the world today. This battery was the target of the alleged IDF strike in Syria.
With a combination of mobility, speed, and long range capabilities, the SA-17 surface-to-air system is a veritable threat for the Israel Air Force, especially if the missile system were to fall in the hands of a terrorist group like Hezbollah in Lebanon. Air force officers are calling it the "game changer" because, unlike Hezbollah's arsenal of surface-to-air weapons, the SA-17 battery is capable of going mobile in as little as five minutes.
The system, called SA-GRIZZLY 17 in full, can hit targets up to 50 kilometers (31 miles) away and can intercept targets flying at altitudes between 10,000-24,000 meters (33,000-79,000 feet).
The weapon uses a radar system that can be mounted on the mobile battery and missile-launching units. Each unit can be loaded with four surface-to-air missiles. Every missile is an independent system unto itself, so if one is compromised, the other three remain operational.
The SA-17 battery's potential for movement poses a particularly potent threat to the air force. That it can move quickly from location to location makes the battery difficult to identify, isolate and destroy.
The system has communications technology that allows for rapid response. Also, the ability to shoot longer distances and hit targets at higher altitudes would make it the most advanced of Hezbollah's arsenal of surface-to-air systems. Despite the war that has ravaged Syria and weakened its government, the Syrian army has continued to purchase SA-17 systems from Russia, at least some of which are believed to be destined for Hezbollah.