Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Russian military rolls out new air defense system to protect its airbases

Russian state media released a video of a fleet of Su-25 Frogfoot ground attack aircraft from Taganrog Airbase in Rostov carrying out attack drills and firing missiles at Ukrainian targets.

At released images show the Russian Su-25 aircraft bearing the now-infamous letter ‘V’ on them conducting operations in Ukraine and modern S-350 Vityaz short-mid range surface-to-air missile defense systems, which were deployed at the airfield.

Footage shows several elements of an S-350 missile system, including a 50N6A fire-control radar, 96L6 low-altitude detection set surveillance radar, and 2 50P6 transporter-erector-launchers.

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The S-350 Vityaz (Knight) is a short-to-mid-range air defense missile system intended to provide point defense against aircraft and precision attacks. It was developed by Almaz-Antey Company as a replacement for the ageing S-300PS, which was developed back in the early 1980s. The first set of these complexes was transferred to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in December 2019.

The missile system is mounted on an BAZ-6909 8×8 truck chassis. It’s a dual missile system, whereby each of the standard containers can be replaced by a pack of four smaller and shorter weapons. The vertical launcher truck carried twelve tubular containers, in two lines of six.

The missile weapon system consists of a command post, an X-band multi-functional fire control, tracking, and surveillance radar, and up to three missile launchers with 12 9M96E missiles or two 9M100 short-range missiles replacing one 9M96E missile.

The weapon system is designed to engage a wide spectrum of threats at ranges of up to 40 kilometers such as fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), cruise missiles, and tactical ballistic missiles. The Vityaz is able to detect and track up to 40 targets simultaneously while engaging eight of them with two missiles per target.

Russian military reportedly has deployed its new air defense system to protect airbases from possible missile strikes from Ukraine.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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