Russia Probably Can’t Shoot Down U.S. Missiles Over Syria

Senior Science Fellow Philip Coyle spoke with the DailyBeast about his lack of confidence in U.S. missile defense.

Overall, air defenses are only 30-percent effective, Philip Coyle, formerly the Pentagon’s top weapons-tester, told The Daily Beast. Five out of seven American-made Patriot missiles apparently missed or malfunctioned when Saudi forces tried to intercept a barrage of high-flying ballistic missiles that Yemeni rebels fired at Riyadh in late March.

Air defenses are even less effective against cruise missiles, which typically fly at treetop level.

“Cruise missiles can ‘hide’ in the ground clutter that affects radars when they try to see very low,” Coyle explained. Read more