Old Versus New: Round 1 EE Lightning V S-300 SAM

We pit old technology against new.


Round 1

English Electric Lightning (1959-88)


S-300 surface-to-air missile (1978-present day)

Which of these would be more effective at defending a target from enemy bombers?

Thomas Newdick: “The Lightning has met its match. Even in its most basic form, the S-300 system can detect a target (using the Tin Shield radar) at 360km, and a battery can engage a minimum of 4 targets (increasing to up to 36 with later versions of the system). Using shoot and scoot tactics, dispersed system components, and with mutual protection from Tor and Tunguska SAM and SAM/SPAAG, the S-300 presents a relatively low risk to the crew. It is reusable, of course. Altitude limits are from 25m up to 30,000m. A single battery should cost around $150 million.”

Winner: S-300

Top speeds: S-300 2,500-5,400 mph /EE Lightning 1500 mph



  1. Actuarius

    Do the Russian’s not have electronic warfare capability then (or have I missed something in the jargon)?

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  3. kshiban

    The S-300 is a particularly nasty missile. Basically the Russian equivalent of the US Patriot. Even in the 1990s we called it the “I wish you dead” missile because that’s how effective it was. In the B-52G our ECM was almost completely ineffective against this thing. All we could have done is maybe get low enough to put a piece of dirt between us and the missile.

    Yeah, ti’s that good.

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