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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Russian weapons in Syria

Russia's military had not been fully involved in an active conflict for decades, until Syria intervention gave it a chance to use its new weapons

Planes drop bombs during Russias large-scale Center-2015 military exercises at Donguzsky Range. Sasha Mordovets / Getty Images
Planes drop bombs during Russias large-scale Center-2015 military exercises at Donguzsky Range. Sasha Mordovets / Getty Images

Kalibr naval-based cruise missiles

Long-range missiles that can be fired from ships or submarines. First-ever use was in Syria in 2015. Russia has fired them at least 15 times since then from the Mediterranean and Caspian Seas, mostly against ISIL targets. Similar to US Tomahawk cruise missiles.

T90 tank

Russia’s first post-Cold War battle tank, it was designed to challenge the US M1 Abrams. First official deployment was in Syria in 2015, it is now in use there by both Russian and Syrian troops. Some reports suggest it is more effective at withstanding strikes by advanced anti-tank rockets than the M1.

Ratnik body armor

Advanced body armour that integrates communications, night and thermal vision, Russia hopes to outfit all ground forces with Ratnik by 2020. First used in Syria in 2015 or 2016.

S400 air defense system

First reported deployment outside of Russia was in Syria in November 2015, after a Russian jet was shot down by a Turkish jet in northern Syria. Now believed to be deployed at Hmeimem air base near Lattakia and a second airbase near the city of Hama. An older version of the system (S200) is believed to have been used by Syrian government forces to down an Israeli fighter jet earlier this year.

TOS-1A multiple rocket launcher

An updated version of a system used by the Russian military in Afghanistan, it saw its first field deployment in Iraq in 2014 and has been used regularly by the Syrian government since 2015. Russia has signed a tentative agreement to produce the system local in Saudi Arabia.

Sukhoi Su-35

Advanced fighter jet first used by Russian air force in combat over Syria in 2016. UAE reportedly agreed to buy 24 of them last year.

Sukhoi Su-57

Russia’s most advanced “fifth generation” fighter jet, as many as four Su-57s participated in bombing rebel-held areas near Damascus in February 2018. It is believed to be the first combat test of the aircraft.