MOSCOW ($1=60.32 Russian Rubles) — A Russian anti-aircraft [AA] gunner described to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti how difficult it is to counter the HIMARS MLRS. The agency does not mention his name but refers to him as “the officer” [most likely because of his rank as an officer in the army].
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According to the Russian officer, gunners operating the Russian army’s Buk-M3 anti-aircraft missile system in Ukraine are gradually learning how to shoot down the American M30/M31 missiles that HIMARS fires. “Besides successfully handling its tasks set by the factory, it also fired missiles, although this was not according to its characteristics [declared],” the officer said.
The Russian officer claims that he personally shot down one American HIMARS MLRS missile over the Donbas, donated to Ukraine. But he admits that this American weapon is a serious challenge for Russian gunners.
“The most difficult target we have worked on is HIMARS rockets. These shells … fly at a very high altitude. We at least detect [missiles] up to 22 thousand meters in height. The difficulty lies in the fact that the range is short, and the time to make a decision is minimal… Our combat crews valiantly cope with the task of shooting down, literally within 10 seconds… The effective dispersion area of these shells is very small, only zero. Therefore, the target is considered small-sized, high-speed,” the source said.
The Russian officer who spoke to RIA Novosti said that the Buk-M3 copes much more successfully with artillery shells of Soviet design, or Russian design, which are in service in the inventory of the Ukrainian military. As an example, he gives that over the Donbas Buk-M3 successfully intercepted and shot down [95%] Ukrainian Tochka-U missiles fired.
Ukraine already has 12 HIMARS deployed and expects the delivery of eight more, according to the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington Mark Milley.
Back in May, BulgarianMilitary.com reported that in Donetsk, Ukraine, is 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.
Russia seized GMLRS HIMARS rockets
The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have at least three seized or unexploded GMLRS M31 rockets. Their scans are pending, sources in Moscow say. These missiles are used by the M142 HIMARS. Ukraine already has at least nine US-supplied HIMARS missile systems.
The procedure of the Russian armed forces after the capture of foreign weapons equipment has not been changed for years. I.e. in the coming days, Russian engineers will make a full-size replica of GMLRS M31. Certainly, at least one of the three [the most conserved rocket] will travel the following path:
- after the full-size GMLRS M31 replica is ready, the replica-rocket will travel to Moscow in the Central Military District. It is there that the chief air defense engineers of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation are located.
- The GMLRS M31 will be suspended from a specialized crane to hover in the air, surrounded by laser scanning devices. A full 360-degree scan of the rocket is performed.
- The resulting dimensions of the rocket and its design are uploaded as data to Russian radar networks, which continue to be connected, whether they are deployed in Ukraine on the battlefield or over Russian lands. This means that the radar systems of the mobile and deployed Russian Army air defense systems in Ukraine also receive the data from the rocket scan.
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 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.
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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