Thursday, February 22, 2024

Russia equips its latest Buk-M3 systems with added armor

In the face of persistent drone attacks and precise HIMARS salvos launched by Ukrainian forces, Russian soldiers are fortifying the resilience of their air defense systems on the battlefield.

Newly surfaced images confirm the integration of additional armor protection on advanced and high-quality surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), including the “Buk-M3,” known in its export version as the “Viking,” the latest iteration of the medium-range Buk self-propelled air defense system.

The combat vehicle has been outfitted with supplemental overlaid armor plating, reinforcing critical zones, particularly those housing the crew.


Russia is grappling with increasing losses, notably witnessing the downfall of multiple Buk air defense systems within this week alone.

Employed in the Russian arsenal since around 2016, the Buk-M3 utilizes new 9M317M missiles and electronic components, endowing it with significantly enhanced capabilities compared to its predecessors. According to the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), it even surpasses the older long-range air defense system, the S-300P, known in the West as the SA-10 Grumble.

TRADOC attributes the Buk-M3 with a maximum engagement range of 43 miles, a minimum effective range of 1.5 miles, a maximum altitude of 115,000 feet, and the ability to target objects moving at speeds up to 6,700 miles per hour, although the latter figure is more theoretical than operational.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more



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