Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Ukraine upgrades Cold War-era air defense systems

In response to the shortage of modern air defense systems and the cessation of support from Western partners, Ukraine is forced to modernize its aging air defense systems, such as the Strela-10.

The tracked 9K35 Strela-10 (SA-13 Gopher) was introduced in the 1970s and formed the backbone of the air defense of the Soviet Union and communist bloc countries. However, the system has significantly aged and no longer meets the modern requirements of the battlefield. While the Strela-10 was designed to engage low-flying targets such as helicopters and ground-attack aircraft, it is virtually powerless against modern drones.

Currently, the Strela-10 is almost blind on the battlefield and requires enhancements to adapt to modern challenges, including reconnaissance and attack drones.


Experts at “KB TEHNARI” are modernizing the outdated air defense system by equipping it with the modern optoelectronic complex Valli.

“An electro-optical sight Vali based on the 2023 technology has been installed on the traditionally ‘blind’ old Soviet SAM of the 70s,” said Gennadiy Suldin, a representative of “KB TEHNARI.”

He added that such an unusual hybrid of antiquity and modern technology provided unexpected results, with the capabilities of the 50-year-old missile system suddenly improving by almost 100%.

During the trials, the modernized Strela-10 complex managed to shoot down 5 Russian drones of the Zala, Lancet, and Supercam types.

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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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