Russia reveals Bastion-P deployment, land attack role in Syria

16 November 2016
The Russian MoD published footage on 15 November it said showing Russian Bastion-P coastal defence systems firing Onyx anti-shipping missiles at targets in Syria. Source: Russian MoD

Russia revealed on 15 November that it has K-300P Bastion-P (SSC-5 'Stooge') coastal defence systems deployed in Syria, and that its P-800 Onyx (SS-N-26 'Strobile') anti-ship missiles have a land attack capability.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) it fired some of these missiles against rebel land targets in Syria on 15 November. At least two missiles appear to have been fired from two different Bastion-P launchers, based on the footage release by the MoD.

The strikes came as part of the launch of a Russian air offensive against rebel forces in Syria that also included the firing of Kalibr missiles from the Russian Navy Project 11356M frigate Admiral Grigorovich. The Russian air offensive is believed to be linked to a Syrian ground offensive in the Aleppo area.

Based on analysis by IHS Jane's , one of the Bastion-P launchers seen in the Russian MoD footage was deployed at a Syrian P-14 early warning radar site 30 km inland from the coastal city of Baniyas in Tartus province (35.165798 N, 36.262310 E).

The Syrian government also operates Bastion-P systems, with the first deliveries reported in 2011. These are generally referred as Yakhont systems after the name for the export version of the P-800 missile.

The Russian Bastion-P launchers are believed to be located at a site 30 km inland of Baniyas. (Russian MoD)The Russian Bastion-P launchers are believed to be located at a site 30 km inland of Baniyas. (Russian MoD)

Russia is not known to have previously claimed that the supersonic P-800 Onyx missile has a land attack capability. However, it is not surprising that it has this ability given that the Block II and III versions of Brahmos, the Indian version of the P-800, do have a land attack capability.

The P-800 uses an active radar seeker for terminal guidance and a combination of autopilot, an inertial navigation system, and a radio altimeter for mid-course guidance. The missile is initially boosted by a rocket motor and then powered by a ramjet engine giving the missile a stated range of 300 km.

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