Moscow deploys the unique S-350 anti-ballistic missile system in southern Russia

MOSCOW, (BM) – In 2021, the Southern Military District will receive one of the first Vityaz S-350 anti-aircraft missile systems. Modern highly mobile systems capable of intercepting aviation and ballistic missiles will further strengthen the defense of this region.

Read more: S-350 Vityaz systems will make Russian air defense impenetrable for US missiles

According to experts, the S-350 deployment there is justified for geopolitical reasons: this territory is prone to threats from several directions at once.

Change for S-300PS

Vityaz will begin to enter the troops of the Southern Military District as early as next year. Which of the air defense units will be re-equipped with a novelty is now being decided, sources in the military department told Izvestia, learned

Last year, Colonel Yuri Muravkin, deputy chief of the air forces of the airborne forces, said that frontier and coastal air defense regiments would be equipped with the S-350 systems, which are considered to be “killers of cruise missiles,” in the first place.

And the commander of the troops of the Central Military District (CVO), Colonel-General Alexander Lapin, said that next year they would begin to re-equip one of the CVO brigades on the S-350. By 2025, air defense missile regiment stationed in Achinsk also plan to equip air defense systems.

The S-350 systems are replacing the S-300PS, which have exhausted their resources, according to Lieutenant General Alexander Gorkov, the head of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the Russian Air Force in 2000-2008.

“Knights” were originally developed to replace “three hundred” with the index “PS”, – he explained to “Izvestia”. – The new system differs from the previous one in increased ammunition, range of destruction of targets and noise immunity. It is designed to repel massive air strikes. The S-350 is closer to medium-range systems, but at the same time it can cover certain particularly important objects: military bases, large cities or nuclear power plants. One of its advantages is its high mobility, which will quickly transfer air defense systems to an important area. The S-350 can operate autonomously, as well as as part of an air defense group”.

Read more: Russia unveils a new ‘killer of cruise missiles’, Newsweek reports

Air Defense Leadership

As previously reported by the commander of the 4th Army of the Air Force and Air Defense of the Southern Military District, Nikolai Gostev, this association is already a leader in equipping with new weapons among all similar associations in the air forces.

The air defense of the Southern Military District is given priority to modern technology. At the end of last year, the share of new and modernized aircraft, helicopters and air defense systems reached 80% here.

“The territory of the South-East Military District is located near some countries unfriendly to Russia,” said Vice-President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Colonel Vladimir Anokhin, to Izvestia.

“This region, important for Russia, is subject to threats from different directions – from both Asian and European. Strengthening the defense of the southern borders is necessary, given that medium and shorter-range missiles can now be placed in dangerously close proximity” also said Anokhin.

According to the Ministry of Defense, air defense of the Southern District is already tracking up to 250 reconnaissance flights per year. NATO warships with cruise missiles on board regularly enter the Black Sea. In May, for the first time in many years, American strategic bombers B-1B conducted exercises over the water area.

Particularly serious attention was paid to the rearmament of the air defense of Crimea. According to media reports, since 2014 at least four divisions on the peninsula have received the latest S-400 air defense systems. And their direct cover is carried out by the batteries of the mobile “Pantsir-S”.

Read more: Russia has received a new S-350 anti-aircraft missile system

Improving not only the army of the Air Force and Air Defense District. As Izvestia previously wrote, “anti-aircraft robots” —the latest Buk-M3 systems — send to one of the air defense brigades of the Ground Forces of the Southern Military District. With a slightly shorter range and fire performance compared to the “Knights” they have excellent mobility, security and noise immunity.

“Knight” on wheels

A feature of the Vityazi mounted on wheeled chassis was their increased mobility. The system can be deployed in a combat position in just five minutes. At the same time, launchers, radars and a control center can be located at a distance of several kilometers from each other.

They communicate with each other via wireless communication channels. The same equipment helps to integrate them with parts armed with S-400 and “Pantsir”. The maximum range of destruction of air targets for the S-350 is 120 km.

The main novelty of Vityaz is new missiles. Its ammunition includes several types of ammunition, including 9M96E2 with active homing heads.

After starting, they independently detect the target and aim at it without the help of the radar. This makes it possible to shell more objects at the same time, as well as destroy cruise missiles beyond radio visibility.

One S-350 division includes 12 launchers, each of which has 12 missiles. That is, their total number in the salvo reaches 144 pieces. A radar with an active phased array makes it possible to detect targets at a distance of up to 250 km and simultaneously track several dozen of them.

Read more: Russia is beginning to implement its new ‘killer of cruise missiles’ – S-350 Vityaz

The development of the S-350 Vityaz medium-range air defense system began in 2007. Six years later, the prototype was first demonstrated at the MAKS-2013 air show.

At the same time, his field tests started. In April 2019, they announced their successful completion and the start of mass production.

The first set of the Vityaz system was solemnly handed over to the Ministry of Defense last December at the Kapustin Yar training ground. According to the military department, he entered the training center of the air defense forces in the Leningrad region.

As previously reported, the state armament program provides for the supply of 12 S-350 divisions to the troops until 2027. In June, the Ministry of Defense and the Almaz-Antey company signed a contract for the production of four sets of Vityaz by 2023.


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