Air Defense: November 8, 1999


US Commanders in the Kosovo War were terrified that Yugoslavia would deploy new SA-10 (Russian S300) anti-aircraft missiles, which have ranges over 80 miles and are highly resistant to US jamming and decoy techniques. The US had plans ready to send hordes of F-16s on "brute force attacks" on the SA-10s, knowing that this would cause significant losses in planes and pilots, but convinced that the SA-10s had to be destroyed for any other air activity to be possible. The SA-10 is reportedly so good that a SAM site under attack by HARMs (High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles, the standard US weapon against anti-aircraft sites) could simply fire some of their SA-10s to shoot down the HARMs and other missiles to attack NATO planes.--Stephen V Cole


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