‘Best air defense system in the world’ S-400 was burned to ashes

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Last month, Russian forces attacked Kramatorsk, Donetsk oblast, using their S-400 Triumf air defense system. Ukrainian forces have since reported that they destroyed the same S-400 launcher that initiated the attack. 

On July 14, Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communication and Information Security [Stratcom] tweeted that a Ukrainian HIMARS MLRS targeted and destroyed the Russian S-400 launcher that had attacked Kramatorsk in Donetsk Oblast on June 27. 

Stratcom announced, “A Ukrainian HIMARs destroyed the S-400 missile that killed 13 people, including four children and author Victoria Amelina and injured 61 in Kramatorsk. The HIMARs delivered retribution.” They also shared images of the destroyed S-400 launcher, confirming their claim. 

The attack on Kramatorks

The attack on Kramatorsk on June 27 by Russian forces resulted in 11 deaths and 61 injuries. The assault caused extensive damage to various structures, including high-rise buildings, homes, schools, a shopping center, and an administrative building. 

Photo credit: Twitter

Initial reports suggested the attack was carried out with S-300 surface-to-air missiles, but the National Police later associated it with Iskander short-range ballistic missiles. Kramatorsk, a frontline city housing the Ukrainian army’s regional headquarters, was likely targeted due to its strategic importance. 

Interestingly, Ukraine claims to have used a HIMARS launcher to destroy the S-400, despite reports of its reduced effectiveness. In January 2023, it was rumored on social media that a Russian S-400 had been destroyed in the east Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhia.

S-400 against ground targets?

The S-400 air-defense system is primarily designed to detect, track, and destroy airborne targets such as aircraft, missiles, and drones. However, it can also be used to attack ground targets with its long-range missiles.

Photo credit: TASS

The system’s 40N6 missile has a range of up to 400 km and can be used to strike ground targets such as command and control centers, communication hubs, and enemy installations. In addition, the S-400’s radar system can be used for reconnaissance and surveillance purposes, providing valuable intelligence on enemy ground forces and their movements.

The 40N6 rocket consists of several key components, including a solid-fuel rocket motor, a guidance system, and a warhead. The rocket motor provides the thrust needed to propel the missile to its target, while the guidance system ensures that the missile stays on course and intercepts the target accurately. The warhead is designed to detonate upon impact and destroy the target.

The 40N6 rocket also features advanced technologies that make it highly effective against modern airborne threats. For example, it uses an active radar seeker that can detect and track targets even in the presence of electronic countermeasures. It also has a high-explosive fragmentation warhead that can destroy both aircraft and ballistic missiles.

Photo credit: MWM

By using the S-400 for ground attacks, military forces can take advantage of its long-range capabilities and accuracy to strike targets from a safe distance, reducing the risk to their own troops. However, it’s important to note that using the S-400 for ground attacks could potentially limit its effectiveness in defending against airborne threats.

How can HIMARS destroy the S-400?

Photo credit: Twitter

The HIMARS missile is a highly advanced weapon system that is designed to be highly effective against air defense systems. It is equipped with a GPS-guided rocket that can be fired from a distance of up to 150 km. The missile is also capable of carrying a variety of warheads, including high-explosive, cluster, and thermobaric warheads. The HIMARS missile is highly accurate and can hit its target with a high degree of precision.

The destruction of the S-400 air defense system by the HIMARS missile is likely due to a combination of factors. One possible explanation is that the missile was able to evade the S-400’s radar and other detection systems. Another possible explanation is that the missile was able to penetrate the S-400’s defenses and hit its target directly. It is also possible that the S-400 was not able to counter the attack due to a technical malfunction or human error.

Despite its advanced capabilities, the S-400 is not invincible and can be vulnerable to certain types of attacks, such as those carried out by the HIMARS missile.

The challenge of intercepting the S-400

The Centre for Countering Disinformation reveals a daunting task for Ukraine’s air defense and anti-missile forces – detecting S-400 launches and identifying them as missile strikes against their ground targets. 

Photo credit: Fresh News

“The severity of the situation is such that timely warnings to the populace of imminent missile threats are not always possible. This was evidenced by the recent bombardment where the air warning system in the capital malfunctioned,” the report stated earlier. 

Despite the lethal nature of these missiles, which successfully bypassed Ukraine’s defenses on June 27, Ukraine struck back. They dismantled the launcher, a device considered one of Russia’s most valuable assets.

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