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Russia will use three-band highly sensitive guidance heads for its MANPADS

MOSCOW, (BM) – The most advanced Russian portable anti-aircraft missile system “Verba” [Willow – ed.] has received new capabilities. Thanks to its automated controls, it can attack even targets that are invisible to the operator’s eye, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing news agency Izvestia.

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This will create a “security dome” impenetrable for drones over troops with a radius of 6 km and a height of over four. Such missiles are already massively entering the Ground Forces and the Airborne Forces. Soon, according to experts, they can also equip the fleet and aerospace forces.

Dome over the army

The Verba portable anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS) can now shoot at invisible targets, sources in the military department told Izvestia. In practice, the troops are practicing their guidance from the command post through an automated control system (ACS).

Special equipment allows fighters to direct the Verba to an area of ​​the sky where an air enemy will appear and prepare to fire at small drones or high-speed cruise missiles long before they become visible to the naked eye, the sources of the publication explained.

In June, the press service of the Central Military District announced an exercise using one of the elements of such an automated control system. The MANPADS battery detected targets at a distance of 80 km using the radar. The automatic control system of the complex determined the parameters of their flight and distributed it in advance among the soldiers armed with Verb, giving them the direction of fire. As a result, all objects were conditionally hit at a distance of six to 3 thousand meters.

“Modern means of detection have not yet been able to determine which drone is in the air: reconnaissance, strike or kamikaze,” military expert Viktor Murakhovsky told Izvestia.

“Any device poses a serious threat. We have seen how in the course of recent military conflicts, drones destroyed military equipment and command posts. At the same time, it is too expensive to spend missiles of large and long-range anti-aircraft systems on them. The use of portable systems against drones is much more effective. Centralized control, target designation, distribution of tasks is very important for air defense units. Target designation was a big problem for portable air defense systems. And now, thanks to the new ACS, they will be able not only to shoot down single targets, but also to reflect group raids” the expert also said.

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According to the Ministry of Defense, Russian bases in Syria are regularly subjected to single and group raids by small reconnaissance and strike drones of militants. They have to be repelled by the forces of the air defense group deployed there. In this case, the main load is taken by the Pantsir-S and Tor-M2 complexes. But earlier the media also reported about the successful defeat of militant drones with the help of “Willow” in the Damascus region.

Young “Willow”

The newest 9K333 “Verba” MANPADS with the 9M336 missile began to enter service with the Russian army in 2014. The complex developed by the “Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering” is primarily used to equip units of the Airborne Forces and the Ground Forces.

Rearmament is immediately carried out with brigade and divisional kits. According to the military department, last year three combined-arms formations of the Ground Forces received large batches of new portable air defense systems and auxiliary equipment for them.

The Verba is not only a shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile. According to the developer, such kits include target designation systems, anti-aircraft command vehicles, small-sized radar stations and other equipment. The new MANPADS pays great attention to the information and communication component. It can be linked into automated control systems and air defense systems of various levels.

The main feature of the rocket itself was the equipping of its newest three-band highly sensitive guidance head. According to the developer, it is ten times more resistant to attempts to divert it away from thermal interference than its predecessors. Small and cold targets, such as drones and cruise missiles, she sees at a distance of two and a half times greater than domestic dual-range MANPADS.

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The range of the “Verba” exceeds 6 km, and the reach in height is 4 km. An enlarged warhead weighing 2.5 kg allows it to reliably hit not only small drones, but also combat aircraft and helicopters. Thanks to the night vision sight included in the complex, the complex can be used around the clock.

The MANPADS batteries include a small-sized 1L122 “Garmon” radar. The anti-aircraft gunners’ own small portable radar allows them to detect air targets at a distance of 40 km. If necessary, they can also receive information from the divisional link ACS and more powerful radars.

Not only in the infantry

Combat modules using MANPADS are widely used on a wide variety of military equipment. Therefore, “Verba” can soon be found on ships, helicopters, wheeled and tracked armored vehicles

To cover the infantry, airborne forces and special forces, the development and testing of the Gibka-S mobile air defense system was completed last year. It is equipped with both Verba missiles and MANPADS of the previous generation. Launchers for them and surveillance equipment are mounted on the basis of the Tiger-M vehicle. With its help, directly from the car, you can fire on the move at speeds up to 30 km / h.

A module similar in purpose is in service with the Navy. Installation 3M47 “Gibka” is equipped not only small artillery ships of project 21630, but also equipped with “Caliber” “Buyan-M”.

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It has already been announced about the use of “Verba” in the armament of modern combat helicopters. It will become one of the options for equipping the upgraded Mi-28NM and Ka-52M. For rotary-wing vehicles, these complexes will be useful for self-defense against air threats and hunting for enemy drones.

Earlier, Izvestia reported that deliveries of Verba MANPADS had also begun to the radio-technical troops. With their help, powerful long-range air defense radars are protected from drones and other air threats.

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