Belarus has constructed new surface-to-air missile revetments since 2014, a review of commercial satellite imagery reveals.
Left: DigitalGlobe imagery of the S-300 site in Brest dated November 2014 / Right: July 2012
DigitalGlobe space snapshots from 2014 show new “C” shaped drive-through revetments at two existing S-300 sites near the Polish and Lithuania borders. The expanded sites could provide prepared firing positions for jumped Russian units or potentially future Belarusian S-300 units. The countries are currently in the process of setting up a joint regional air defense system.
Russia has said for the past several years that it was ready to send little brother additional S-300 systems. But given recent friction regarding a Russian base in the territory, it would appear Russian deliveries of military hardware could be linked to access. Then again, with NATO bolstering security on its eastern flank, Russia may do the same.
The two sites, located in Brest and Grodno, are fewer than 15 miles (approx. 24 km) from the borders. Although there aren’t any units in residence in the historical imagery, each expanded site is fairly typical and could host at least a battalion of six TELs and associated equipment. The additional unit(s) would increase overlapping fields of fire and allow for the launch of more missiles per engagement. The site in Brest (above) was fully complete by 2015 with TEL hardstands. No unit had occupied the site by September 2015.
The site at Grodno near Lithuania and Poland may however support up to two battalion. Imagery from July 2014 shows the expansion located less than a mile from another S-300 unit and adjacent to an early warning site. Four “C” shaped revetments were under construction at the time of capture. Given the date of the imagery, it’s likely this site has been completed. No additional imagery could be located at this time to confirm.
Bottom Line, imagery shows preparations being made for Belarus or Russia to increase surface-to-air missile deployments on NATO’s border.