S-300PMU2 (SA-20B Gargoyle)

Operator: Algeria Iran Syria
Status: In Service In Service / On Order Cancelled
Number: 4 batteries / 300 missiles. Possible 4 more on order. 1 “battalion” delivered / 4 “battalions” on order (may be S-300PMU1 variant) Unknown
Cost: Part of $7.5b deal Over $1 billion Unknown
Acquired: 2008-2011 First components reportedly arrived in April 2016. Delivery to be completed by September 2016. Russia cancelled the deal in August 2014. Syria’s foreign minister claimed it was still receiving the system in November 2014, but since then there is no indication the deal has moved forward.
General Specs:
Country of origin: Russia
Manufacturer: Almaz Scientific-Production Association
Introduced: 1997
Class: Long-range air defense/anti-ballistic missile system
Range: 1.9-124 miles (3-200 km)
Altitude: 88,583 ft (27,000 m)
Warhead: HE Frag 320 lbs (145 kg)
Speed: <4,921.3 mph (<Mach 7 / 7,920 km/h)
Weight: 3,968 lbs (1,800 kg)
Length: 24.6 ft (7.5 m)
Diameter: 19.7 in (0.5 m)
Propellant: Single stage solid fuel
Guidance system: Track via missile
Missile: 48N6E2
Radar(s): 30N6E2 Tomb Stone engagement radar
64N6E2 Big Bird detection/acquisition radar
Launch Platform: 5P85SE2 or 5P85TE2 Transporter erector launcher (TEL) vehicles
Missiles Per Launcher: 4
Operators (crew):
Fire unit: 1 x 54K6E2 Command vehicle
1 x 64H62E Detection radar
up to 6 x 5P85TE2 or 5P85CE2 missile carriers
1 x 30H6E2 Illumination and guidance radar vehicle



Iranian Air Defense to Cover Gulf

Iran’s air defense commander has raised the prospect that the Islamic Republic could deploy its new S-300 systems so that their long-range can be used to cover international airspace over the Gulf. Iranian news agencies quoted Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili as saying: “New plans for making changes in the area of air defense of the […]


Iranian Defense Minister in Moscow to Boost Military Ties

Iran’s defense minister is visiting Moscow for talks about closer military cooperation. Gen. Hossein Dehghan met Tuesday with President Vladimir Putin and also also with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu. Shoigu hailed a “high level of mutual trust” between Moscow and Tehran and their readiness to coordinate policies. Russia and Iran both have backed Syrian […]


Understanding Iran’s Deployment of the S-300 System

Iranian outlets this week reportedly revealed that components of Iran’s first Russian-made S-300 missile system were positioned around the Fordow fuel enrichment plant – an underground bunker which, until recently, was used for uranium enrichment. The long-range surface-to-air (SAM) system represents Iran’s newest and most advanced air-defense platform. Its deployment to Fordow sheds light on […]


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Russia is upping the ante in the Eastern Mediterranean in response to the downing of its fighter jet by Turkish F-16s last week. Russian President Vladimir Putin has deployed S-400 air-defense missiles in Syria and expanded fighter escorts for bombing operations. While Moscow has predicated its intervention in Syria on supporting the Bashar al-Assad regime’s […]


Russian Forces Shield Hezbollah’s Arms Supply From Israeli Strikes

The sudden appearance of Russian forces in Syria in recent weeks is raising concerns about inadvertent conflicts with the U.S.-led coalition. But while much of the spotlight may be on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bid to prop up the Assad regime and the escalating diplomatic tensions with Washington, Russia’s gambit presents a challenge for another […]


Making Sense of Iranian S-300s

Iran has a long history of disrupting maritime traffic in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf, but should a recently resurrected deal between Russia and Iran for the S-300 surface-to-air missile (SAM) bear fruit, Tehran could soon project the same hostility into the skies. Despite assurances from Russia’s Foreign Minister that “[t]he S-300 is exclusively […]