Buk-M3 SAM in Ukraine: Mach 4.6, frag-HE warhead, 36 target channels

KYIV, ($1=30.35 Ukrainian Hryvnias) — Field sources at BulgarianMilitary.com in Donetsk, Ukraine, report that they have noticed that the Russian armed forces have the latest version of Russia’s self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile systems Buk-M3. The Belgian online defense portal Army Recognition also confirmed this information, citing a video circulated on the Telegram channel.

India might buy new Russian BuK-M3 ‘Viking’ air defence system
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Russia wants to strengthen its air defenses in the region. These actions are also noticed in a press release issued by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, which says that in Donetsk and Tavriya directions [Ukraine], groups of Russian soldiers are conducting active operations along the entire section of the line of contact.

Army Recognition also says that in addition to the Buk-M3, the Russian armed forces have deployed in these areas the predecessor Buk-M2, as well as all-weather low to medium altitude, short-range surface-to-air missile system Tor-M1.

About Buk-M3

Buk-M3 is a Russian mobile air defense system from the Buk family of air defense systems. The Buk family of air defense systems dates back to 1972 when it was designed in the Soviet Union. In 1980 Buk-M1 entered service and since then until today Buk air defense systems undergo their upgrades, upgrades, and new versions. At least 17 countries in the world operate mainly with the Buk-M1 and Buk-M2 versions, and Ukraine also has the Buk system in service.

Buk-M3 SAM in Ukraine: Mach 4.6, frag-HE warhead, 36 target channels
Photo: Wikipedia

Buk-M3 is the latest version of this family of air defense systems. The system operates 36 target channels simultaneously. It launches a 9K317E missile, which was developed during the Soviet era, but went into series production only in 2007. The missile weighs between 710 and 720 kg and has an operational range of 3 to 50 km. It can reach a maximum height of 25,000 meters. It flies at a speed of 4.6 Mach or 1,550 m / sec, maneuvering with air rudders and reactive rudders. The warhead of the missile is highly explosive through fragmentation [frag-HE], ie. the rocket hull is scattered by the detonation of the explosive magazine.

Buk-M3 can launch missiles continuously every two seconds. The missile was designed to be single-staged, with inertial guidance, radio control mid-course update, and terminal semi-active radar homing.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border, and claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.

On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent states, according to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole, and Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.

Buggy vehicles sporting roof-mounted ATGM face Russian tanks
Photo: Twitter

On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.

Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, in which Russia has its permanent representation, for military action to be defined as a “special military operation”, it must have a resolution issued by the UN. There is no such resolution, which automatically defines the military actions of the Russians as an invasion and war against the citizens of Ukraine.

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