By Arie Egozi
There are mixed reports about the possible redeployment of a Russian SU-57 stealth fighter in Syria.
A Lebanese news website reported that the Russian Air Force has redeployed the stealth fighter that has been spotted in the Hmeimim airbase near the Latakia port on the Mediterranean coast.
Hmeimim Air Base is a Syrian airbase currently operated by Russia, located south-east of the city of Latakia. The airbase shares some airfield facilities with Damascus Bassel Al Assad International Airport.
The first deployment of the SU-57 fighter aircraft to Syria was detected in mid-2018.
This first deployment gave the U.S and Israel a rare opportunity to evaluate some of its capabilities.
The most important data was gained during the recent biennial joint American – Israeli “Juniper Cobra” 2018 training exercise.
This exercise brought to Israel ground and aerial sensors operated by the U.S units and these served for the assessment of the SU-57 capabilities.
The US is almost totally silent about the technophiles it has developed to detect stealth aircraft.
Russia claims that it has developed a new radar system that can detect stealth fighter aircraft.
Experts say that the Sunflower low-frequency over-the-horizon radar likely suffers all the same drawbacks that have plagued previous generations of similar sensors.
The experts add that the Sunflower might be able to detect a low-observable aircraft, but it probably can’t do so with great fidelity and generate a useful targeting track for a missile to follow.
Despite Russia’s claim, stealth aircraft are no less difficult to find, target and destroy now than they were before the Sunflower’s introduction.
With the SU-57 flying over Syria and the advanced surface – air system protecting the Syrian airspace, the data about the capabilities of the most advanced Russia systems has become crucial, Israeli sources said.
Israeli sources assess that in parallel to the efforts of the American and Israeli to assess that stealth capabilities of the SU-57 in Syria, the Russians are using their massive presence in Syria to assess the stealth capabilities of the F-35 flying in Israel.