It emerged earlier this month that Moscow had supplied S-300 air defense systems to Syria, raising concerns in Israel and the United States. The move followed the accidental downing of a Russian Il-20 surveillance aircraft on September 20.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a Russian MP who has lead the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) since the 1990s, has let slip that Russia allegedly had “S-600” and “S-700” air defense systems.
The earth-shattering “revelation” came when the flamboyant 72-year-old legislator was commenting on the recent delivery of the S-300 missile defense systems to Syria.
“S-300 has interested them (the United States),” he said Thursday on a current affairs talk show hosted by journalist Vladimir Soloviev. “They had [previously] paid no attention whatsoever to some S-300. But now they’re scared, because Israel, the United States’ close ally, is scared — S-300s are nearby. Every jet — not just Israeli — every military jet may be destroyed.”
“The Americans are scared in general, they are scared that the world’s best air defense system is Russia’s S-300. And we [also] have S-400, S-500, S-600, and S-700. We can shut down the whole planet, and no plane will [be able to] take off,” the MP joked.
His statement prompted an explosion of laughter from another guest on the show and applause from the audience. The host played along with Zhirinovsky, cautioning him that he shouldn’t give away all secrets so as not to bring up the “dreaded S-1500 system.”
The MP batted back the warning, claiming that the imaginary S-700 will “block everyone at the launch points for good, and this will be the last blow of the Russian counter-air defense system.”
The Russian military rolled out the S-400 Triumph defense system in 2007. The S-400 was created on the basis of the Russian S-300 air defense systems, but has significantly better performance capabilities in terms of effectiveness, coverage area, as well as variety of targets. Initially, the S-400 was named the S-300PM3 and it was intentionally designed to look like the S-300, so that the enemy could not recognize which system it was dealing with.