( From The National Interest)

The proliferation of Russian air-defense systems like S-300 and S-400 may pose a serious challenge to the air forces of the US and its allies.

India is eager to acquire five Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf air and missile defense systems from Russia. But it may take a few years for the S-400 systems to be actually inducted.

Both weapons systems are highly mobile, networked and can protect vast areas. Effectively, weapons like these can make an entire region inaccessible to conventional non-stealthy combat aircraft.

Countries such as Iran will also obtain similar weapon systems.

“A complete game changer for all fourth-gen aircraft [like the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18]. That thing is a beast and you don’t want to get near it,” a senior US Marine Corps commented on S-300.

Only the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, F-35 and Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber would be able to operate inside areas protected by these weapons. But even those aircraft could be challenged if there were enough S-300 or S-400 batteries operating as part of an integrated air defense network.

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