Moscow welcomes Syrian involvement to showcase new kit
Much as any nation has done over time, it looks like the Russians have used their “splendid little war” partnership in Syria to test out new and updated equipment.
The U.S. did it all through the 1920s in the Banana Wars– where military aviation and the Thompson submachine gun really got their first Post-WWI kinks knocked out. The Germans did it with the Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil War with the Stuka and others. The Soviets did it with their newest tanks, sniper rifles and SVT-38s in the Finnish Winter War. The Italians did it in Ethiopia, et. al, ad nausea.
According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, as quoted from NPR:
“We tested 162 types of contemporary and modernized weapons in Syria, which showed a high level of effectiveness,” Shoigu said. Only 10 weapons systems performed below expectations, he added.
The Kremlin has never made a secret that its intervention on behalf of the Syrian government has been an excellent opportunity to show off its new military prowess.
Shortly after Russia entered the conflict in September 2015, the country’s navy fired cruise missiles at Syrian targets 900 miles away – an event that coincided with President Vladimir Putin’s 63rd birthday. The air force sent long-range Bear and Backfire bombers on round-trip missions from bases in Russia. And the country’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, traveled all the way from the Arctic Ocean to the Syrian coast to launch airstrikes.
However, what NPR failed to mention is that the Soviets will certainly bill their newest weaponry as “combat tested/proven” in export sales pitches for hard foreign currency.
And there is the “splendid” part of any little war, as noted by Banana War vet Major General Smedley Butler.