Russia puts into service Buk-M3 ‘Viking’ – the most accurate air defense system

MOSCOW, (BM)“The most advanced and error-free air defense system in the world appeared on the arsenal of the Russian army” – with this headline, several online media outlets came out on Monday, learned

Read more: India might buy new Russian BuK-M3 ‘Viking’ air defence system

It is reported that we are talking about the Buk-M3 air defense system, which will be deployed on the southern border of Russia, in particular, in the Krasnodar Territory and, probably, on the Crimean Peninsula.

“The novelty is capable of hitting not only planes and helicopters, but also cruise missiles, drones and even hypersonic targets,” writes one of the Internet buildings.

The media write that the latest air defense system guarantees the defeat of targets within its radius of action with a probability of 99.999 percent. It is emphasized that the new system virtually leaves no chance for the enemy to break through Russian air defense.

As for the interception of cruise missiles, the media write that the success rate of the Russian air defense systems is 80%. Journalists summarize that one can safely say that Russia has achieved incredible results in the development of modern air defense systems.

SAM Buk-M3 is able to operate on all existing airborne weapons. We are talking about hypersonic targets, airplanes, helicopters, cruise missiles and drones. The Buk-M3 air defense system is mounted on a tracked chassis and armed with 12 missiles.

More about Buk-M3

Buk-M3 is a medium-range air defense system. NATO air defense data is called SA-17Grizzly. The highly mobile multifunctional complex is designed to solve the following combat missions: the destruction of all types of aircraft in all ranges of their practical use, the firing of radio-contrast ground targets and the defeat of surface targets in the face of intense opposition, both fire and electronic.

Read more: Russia creates air defense systems based on new principles of target destruction

Military experts attribute the complex to the category of fixed assets of the military component of the PKO / Air Defense of the Russian Federation on theater of operations and consider it as a system-forming.

On the tactical side, it is complemented by a short-range complex like “Tor-M2” (currently) or “Shell-C1” (in the near future). From the operational-tactical – long-range air defense missile systems of all classes in service.

Buk-M3, as the main means of counteracting the Kyrgyz Republic, which operates at an extremely low altitude, demonstrates the best efficiency-cost ratio in comparison with all analogues of Russian and foreign production.


The air defense system is equipped with the latest CVC, which provides not only the solution of combat missions, but also works in the mode of a training simulator for education and training of crews.

The tele-thermal imaging system has replaced tele-optical sights and is used to detect targets, capture them and passive tracking in automatic mode. The documentation system has been replaced by an integrated objective control system created on the basis of modern software using the latest CVC.

Signal processing equipment and indicators are also computerized and equipped with LCD monitors. For communication, the complex has modern digital communication tools that ensure uninterrupted exchange of both voice information and encoded data of target distribution and target designation.

Each division armed with Buk-M3 air defense systems has 36 target channels and is equipped with the latest missiles with active GOS.

The complex has a foreshortening effect due to the fact that the new rocket has a vertical launch. The 9R31M missile, used to equip the complex, is capable of destroying all currently existing aerodynamic targets, including highly maneuverable, in conditions of strong electronic countermeasures, also surface and ground.

Read more: Russia Displays its Latest Viking Air Defense Missile System at Airshow China 2018

The on-board systems of the Buk-M3 complex are based on a completely updated elemental base. For deliveries to the Russian fleet, the complex is called “Hurricane”. The export name of the marine version is “Calm”.

India might buy new Russian BuK-M3 ‘Viking’ air defence system

Following the signing of a $5.43 billion contract in October 2018 under which India would acquire five regiments of the Russian S-400 surface to air missile system, the Indian armed forces have reportedly looked to acquire short and medium range systems to integrate into the system’s network to provide a more capable defence against air and missile attacks.

Russia has recently developed two medium ranged systems with comparable roles, the S-350 and the BuK-M3, neither of which have been exported. Both of these systems are highly mobile and retain engagement ranges under a third that of the S-400, but can deploy more missiles per launcher and provide an effective complement to the larger system.

While the S-400 fields over half a dozen classes of surface to air missile already, and is capable of providing a multi layered defence without the support of complementary systems, the deployment of platforms such as the S-350 or BuK-M3 would further improve defences – particularly against specialised electronic attack and anti radiation missiles which are intended to neutralise the S-400.

Russia is reportedly seeking to market the BuK-M3 to India as its first client, and will display the platform at DefExpo India 2020 in early February. Over 1,000 companies from almost 70 countries will participate at the expo, with many seeking access to the markets of the world’s largest arms importer.

Almaz-Antey, the Russia state company which manufactures both the BuK-M3 and the S-400, announced plans to display the system including its new 9M317ME surface to air missile. In addition, the company will present other offerings including the S-400, S-300F, S-300V4 and multiple variants of the Tor air defence systems.

Read more: Top 5 best anti-aircraft missile systems in the World

India already deploys an older navalised variant fo the BuK system, although the BuK-M3 fields several revolutionary capabilities. Dubbed ‘Viking’ in its export variants, the platform is the first in the series to integrate a vertical launch system and can track and engage up to 36 targets simultaneously.

Like its predecessors, the system makes use of a tracked launch vehicle and is highly mobile – with mobility on this variant improved by a faster setup time. The platform is also capable of engaging low flying targets and land based naval surface targets, and has a maximum range of 130km – slightly longer than the S-350 and even many older variants of the S-300.


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