Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Sighting of R-166-0.5 signals vehicle affirms inflow of Russian military into Syria

The past few days have seen a steep increase of evidence revealing the true extent of direct military involvement by the Russian military on the ground in Syria. The sighting of recently delivered Russian UAVs and Russian BTR-82A infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) in addition to sound fragments confirming Russian military personnel directly participated in one of regime's offensives in the Lattakia Governorate all proved Russia was deeper involved in the Syrian Civil War than many previously thought.

The true extent of Russia's commitment in aiding the regime was further revealed by the frequent transits of a large number of Russian landing ships bound for Syria through the strait of Bosphorus along with at least fifteen flights made by Russian Air Force An-124s strategic airlifters to Lattakia. These ships and aircraft brought large numbers of vehicles, equipment and personnel to Syria. In order to house the Russian contingent, Hmeemeem/Bassel al-Assad IAP has been turned into a Russian military base and is currently being reconstructed to allow the deployment of land and air assets.

Newly published images showing a Russian R-166-0.5 (ultra) high-frequency signals (HF/VHF) vehicle driving through Syria's coastal region now leaves little to no doubt on Russia's intentions in Syria. The R-166-0.5 provides jam-resistant voice and data communications over a long range, enabling Russian troops to communicate with their bases in the coastal strongholds of Tartus and Lattakia while operating far inland.

The vehicle can be seen escorted by Syrian military personnel, likely belonging to the National Defence Force (NDF). Far more interesting however is the soldier sitting near the open hatch of the vehicle. Seemingly unaware that a photo is being taken, he is wearing the Russian Army's standard digital flora uniform, once again proving that we're truly dealing with Russian military personnel.

On the rear of the vehicle, darker olive paint has been used to conceal the tactical number of the R-166-0.5, eliminating any chance to identify the brigade the vehicle belongs to. Concealing the tactical number or any other identification marks became standard practice during the Ukrainian conflict.



According to an unofficial Russian Army brigade TOE (Table of Organization & Equipment), a total of eight R-166-0.5 signals (HF/VHF) vehicles equip the communications battalion of a brigade. The sighting of the R-166-0.5 thus means that a brigade HQ or, at least, a reinforced battalion (so-called Battalion Tactical Team) of Russian combat troops has recently arrived in Syria.

Some of the specifications of the R-166-0.5 (an example operated by the Russian Army can be seen below) as translated from this Russian Army fact-sheet:

Max range:

HF, stationary (with deployed antenna) – up to 1000 km
HF, on the move – up to 250 km
UHF, stationary – up to 70 km
UHF, on the move – up to 25 km

Frequency range:

HF – 1.5-29.99999 MHz
UHF – 30-107.975 MHz"


As new information on Russia's secretive operation in Syria continues to come to light, the deployment to Syria is yet to be strongly condemned by any nation. Although the U.S. has so far been watching with growing concern, warning Russia that its operation might further escalate the Syrian Civil War, it appears to have no real answer to the Russian operation in Syria. Unwilling to provide the Free Syrian Army with MANPADS, and with the majority of the mere sixty U.S. trained FSA fighters already out of action, the U.S. might have sidelined itself in Syria for good.

28 comments:

  1. I hope to see an influx of TOWs and MANPADs soon. Will ensure Ruskies will lose. No Ruskie tank can beat a TOW, no Ruskie plane can beat a stinger.

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    1. then the Russians will up their night time operations where neither stinger nor tow work well and easily eradicate terrorists.

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    2. Modern TOWs (which are wireless), work well at night. Modern MANPADS work with IR as well as visible light. Night is not a problem.

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    3. no way US would allow top of the line stingers to get to rebels for fear they would get in al nusra or ISIS hands and be a threat to US air assets in and around syria. Heck US doesnt want any of the groups in Syria to have Manpads period..

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    4. Yeah, Go America! Let's deliver more weapons to the allies of Al-Qaida, great idea!!

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    5. T-72B and T-90 frontal armour is impervious to early TOWs that that the rebels have and with ERA the side armour as well.

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    6. lol american equipment is useless and ineffective against new russian equipment.

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  2. That sounds like a brilliant idea. I'm sure ISIS won't get their hands on it and use it to take over more areas and use it in Iraq against american allied troops on the ground. Because those TOWS and portable Sam's deactivate when used against american jets and allied troops.

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    1. Modern missiles have GPS locator capability. So each missile is pre-programmed to operate only in a certain geographic theater. If ISIS attempts to ship the MANPAD to Europe or Arab countries to target civilian aircraft, the missile will refuse to fire, and may self-destruct. Such missiles also have a timer which will deactivate the missile in as little as a few days. To re-activate, the operator needs to upload an encrypted code produced by the missile (which contains its location), and if approved, download an encrypted enabling code good for a short time and for a restricted location. Gone are those days that you walked to the market and bought a MANPAD to bring down an airliner. Only Russians are now in the business of downing airliners.

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    2. Well I wasn't aware of the GPS enabled MANPADS. But I'm assuming the people who use it would be aware. And be aware of ways around the problem, ie GPS jamming or duping equipment. But hey we live in a perfect world. Where everytbing goes to plan. And this risk of arms flowing onto ISIS is worth killing some big bad Ruskies.

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    3. Sacred Baloney flat out made up 90% of those capabilities.

      Don;t listen to anything this fraud has to say.

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    4. How do those GPS enabled MANPADS work if there is no GPS signal? A real possibility.

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    5. If there is no GPS signal, the missile simply refuses to activate. That is the whole point. Lol.

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    6. GPS jamming is useless because the missile will refuse to fire.

      GPS duping is next to impossible because military GPS signals carry an encrypted public key signature that certifies the GPS signal as authentic. In GPS duping, there is no way to reproduce the signature because only the Pentagon has the private key.

      There is no way around the problem unless you are Russia or China and can afford a billion dollar reverse engineering laboratory. Which would mean the terrorist would have to ship the missile to Moscow and get it back unlocked, and then shoot down an airliner.

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    7. "Sacred Baloney" is taking the second part of his name a bit too seriously. Or, possibly, he just has absolutely no idea what he's talking about.

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    8. Hahaha Im sure there maybe a hint of truth in what he claims. But I also think he under estimates ingenuity and improvisation of people in desperate situations. Because 1 GPS chip is all that will stop it being used in another country... There is a reason why they say the best defense is an offence. Because eventually something will get through.

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  3. why couldnt these just be for the use of Syrian Army? If Russians go in, they will use their jets, tanks etc and we will see them in combat. As of right now, it's speculations. Yes, those are Russians words in that video and probably participating in combat, but they are probably very few of them there for the reasons I stated

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  4. Does this affect the mobile phone signal ? Because it was garbage for the past few months
    Anyway . Spasiba russyia

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  5. Obama the spineless idiot knows that he trained a Shia Iraqi army with millions and missiles, only to see this weaponry fall into the "wrong hands" when this army started persecuting the sunnis in mossul and then ran away like rabbits....

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    1. You're wrong.
      The iraki army who ran away at Mossul was sunni, not Shia.

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  6. You're wrong.
    The iraki army who ran away at Mossul was sunni, not Shia.

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  7. The blind hatred for Assad is making Western leaders make stupid decisions. These people are prepared to commit suicide if they think that will bring down Assad.

    Today we see Europe paying the price for their leadership's blind/stupidity in following US policies. Heck, they've gone so far as throwing labels on all kinds of terrorist groups with the term "moderate" to make them easy to sell for their people.

    Almost 5 years of war and the monster that the West have created has now morphed into something more dangerous which they cannot control. Terrorist groups like ISIS, Nusra and such will eventually turn on their patrons. That's how these retards roll.

    Russia's aid is long overdue but welcome all the same. There will be changes on the ground soon.


    You know something is definitely wrong when Westerners begin to support terrorist groups affiliated with AL-CIADA!

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    1. Agreed too.
      In France our foreign minister said 3 years ago "Al Nusra make good job in Syria"
      No coment...
      They said "je suis Charly", but they are Al Qaeda and ISIS.

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  8. Agreed totally. I think in a Disney Hollywood world, we don't need to choose the lesser of two evils. But in the real world, the less evils of the two, is the most realistic and often the best option. Anyone who seems to think otherwise should probably go live in Libya for awhile see how well things are going for them.

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  9. Thanks for the interesting blog Oryx.
    I wonder what ambitions Russia has in Syria? Protecting what the Government holds (e.g. clearing out Jobar, the Lebanese border, etc), or a more serious push back against IS/FSA?
    What force size would be envisaged? We may be about to go through an 'adviser + airpower' phase (as in South Vietnam in the early 1960s), possibly escalating if necessary into 'boots on the ground'.

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  10. It is interesting isn't it? Watching all this events recently... It's like watching a chess game but on a global scale. The only difference in being, we as the everyday person only "see" a small portion of the board. While the big players can see where all the pieces are. From my prospective as ignorant as that maybe, the Russians seems to have made some daring, calculated and bold moves lately. Often surprising speculators. We definitely live in interesting times. Not trying to be to much of a conspiracy theorist, but there seems to be a lot of moves being made on the global chess board of late. Only time will tell what the future holds.

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  11. Mr oryx
    There is video showing 4 sukhois escorting il plane in Homs air space , and rumors about close source from Russian deplomacy in Damascus said new mi-28 night hunter to arrive to Latakia airport after the airport fixed to house these helos
    I know you know this , but I commented just in case :) thank you

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  12. As if there aren't enough issues enough in Syria that more militia needs to start pouring in. The land needs respite. Resources, aide, finances and respite from all this terrible war that it's in!

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