Despite being a small country, Belarus has a very modern and powerful military force, with a variety of advanced weapons capable of making all enemies, even NATO, afraid.
The Belarusian military is expected to invest heavily in the purchase of Russian weapons and equipment over the next decade, in order to further modernize its armed forces. But according to many estimates of experts, with current strength Belarus still retains a significant deterrent against military actions from neighboring countries.
The most capable air attack weapons of the Belarusian armed forces are believed to have the most important impact in the event of a conflict with Western countries. It is the Su-30SM heavy fighter. The most elite force of the Belarusian Air Force is equipped with a squadron of 12 aircraft.
The Su-30SM is equipped with the latest Russian electronic warfare systems and sensor technologies. And, unlike the Su-35 and Su-34 fighter platforms, which are only dedicated to the role of air superiority or attack, the Su-30SM can instead perform both roles well. The outstanding performance, size and sophistication of the radar, give the Su-30SM an advantage over the majority of NATO fighter units with the F-16 and F/A-18. The Belarusian Air Force can completely confront more advanced versions such as the US F-15E.
Su-30SM fighters are appreciated for their high endurance and ability to deploy powerful aviation weapons, including Kh-31 air-to-surface missiles, designed to neutralize enemy air defenses and execute precision strikes deep behind enemy lines.
Another important weapon is the S-400 long-range air defense system. Belarus is the first customer to order the Russian S-400 air defense system and is one of four countries that are deploying the system along with China, Algeria and of course Russia. The S-400 helps Belarus make up for the lack of a large fighter fleet, and this is considered the best option to provide a more cost-effective system to protect the country’s airspace, compared to the addition of expensive fighters.
The S-400 is designed to neutralize high-performance advanced stealth aircraft such as the F-22 Raptor, F-35, F-15 or F-16. The S-400 air defense missile integrates Russia’s most advanced sensor and electronic warfare countermeasures technologies, and can simultaneously engage up to 80 aircraft. It provides more firepower than a squadron of fighters. High maneuverability, short setup and launch times are key to its survivability.
The S-400 is also supported by other long-range air defense systems, including a battalion of S-300PS, and three regiments of long-range Tor-M2E missiles, and Buk-MB3K systems. Reports in early 2021 revealed that Belarus was considering purchasing additional S-400 units.