How US Military Destroyed S-400? The Propaganda Decoded

Hello defence lovers! In this article, we are going to discuss America’s claim of destroying the S 400 triumph air defence system? We are going to dig deep into these claims and would analyse how correct are these claims.

Read: US Military Practices Bombing S-400 Batteries in Controversial ‘African Lion’ War Games in Morocco

During the recent “African Lion” war games in Morocco, the US-led international forces practised attacking the S400 triumph air defence system through Simulation strikes. US claimed to have destroyed the S400 air defence systems but the weapons used were not specified. This is not the first time that the US has made this claim. Last year in September, the US claimed to destroy the S400 with its latest fighter F35 lightning II. However, the credibility of the results of the simulation strikes was questioned worldwide.

To understand this claim we have to first understand what simulation strikes are and how they are different from real-world strikes. In simulation strikes, the various data of missiles, weapons, radars, sensor and all the other technologies involved in the strikes are fed into a computer. Now the computer simulates the attacks in a digital environment and gives the results. in general thousands of these simulations are run using very complex algorithms which stimulates the real world condition. After running the simulations, the results are given which predict whether the target can be destroyed or not.

If these simulations are run properly without any biased codes, the results are very accurate when compared to the real-world environment. However, this technology is not 0ne hundred per cent reliable.

Why The US Claim: A Propaganda?

According to Sputnik, the Russian news agency, the US-led forces in the African Lion exercise probably used M142 High mobility artillery rocket system (HIMRAS) or AGM 88 Anti Radiation Missile which can be fired from F-16 C/D. Now the claim is quite silly because enemy air defence systems are always deployed deep inside the enemy territory and it is highly unlikely that an artillery system can destroy the world’s most advanced air defence system S 400.

looking at the second weapon, the AGM 88 HARM, again the claim looks very silly. The US claims to have destroyed the S 400 with AGM 88 which has a maximum range of 150 km, fired from an f-16. It would have made sense if f 35 were used. Morocco operates f 16 C/D which has the AGM 88 in its weapon package. Hearing this news our useless neighbour must have rejoiced since it also operates the F-16 C/D which are armed with AGM 88.

Assuming the best situation with all conditions in F 16’s support such as terrain masking, climatic condition, knowledge of radar and battery sites, etc, it is still very unlikely that the F 16 could have entered the S 400’s kill range and firmed its AGM 88 to destroy the s 400 radars or batteries. Still, let us assume that it managed to score a hit on a single element of the system, but the S400 system is a vast system in itself that consists of multiple launchers and radars. The f -16’s strike would have been its last strike.

Another aspect is important. It is practically impossible for the US and its ally to obtain the actual data of s 400 which is needed for the calculation and the computer simulation. This data is highly protected and not issued in public. Obviously, Russia won’t publish the data on Wikipedia for the US to conduct simulation strikes. There is a huge difference in destroying the S 400 in simulation strikes under the above-mentioned circumstances and in reality.

Now there are various reasons why the US is spreading its false propaganda against the S400. It has been aggressively opposing the nations which even thought of purchasing the Russian S 400. It even imposed sanctions on its ally Turkey and threatened India with the same for purchasing the S 400.

US could not stop Turkey and India from purchasing its S 400 instead of its Patriot or THAAD missile defence system. But now Algeria is considering purchasing the S 400. That’s the primary objective behind’s US claim as it wants to send a message to Algeria that its adversary Morocco can destroy its upcoming air defence system.

Should India Be Worried?

The claims do not make any sense. These are only marketing strategy of the United States. The US just cannot accept the superiority of the S 400 system. When its CAATSA failed to stop Turkey and India from buying the S 400, US has resorted to such misinformation and propaganda campaign. US known very well that this russian system is significant threat for its F35 fighters. Thus it must stop small nations from acquiring these system.

We can assure you that any F-16 armed with AGM 88, lurking in S 400’s kill zone hoping to score some hits on it will definitely bite the dust.


Sheershoo Deb

I am a defense aspirant preparing to be an officer in the prestigious Indian armed forces. Earning the prestigious blue uniform is my dream.

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