Friday, September 29, 2023

Latest Posts

Ukraine Claims Strike on Russian ‘Grizzly’ System That Can Target Aircraft

A Russian anti-aircraft missile defense system was hit by Ukrainian forces on Tuesday, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a Facebook post.

“Missile forces and artillery” struck Russia’s Buk-M1-2 defense system, also known as “Grizzly,” according to the post. Ukraine’s air force personnel also reportedly hit Russian soldiers and military equipment six times. Officials did not specify where in Ukraine the strikes took place.

On Tuesday, the Ukraine Defense Ministry released a video showing one of its drones dropping grenades on two Russian soldiers and their equipment in a mildly wooded area. The air-based assault follows a string of drone attacks by both armies in recent days as the war stretches into its second year.

Over the weekend, Russia launched a reported 15 drones in Kyiv’s direction, including a slew of Shaheds provided by Iran, though Ukraine largely thwarted the effort.

The original Buk defense system is known as the SA-11, or Gadfly. Its development began in 1972, according to Military Today, and was first used on battlefields in 1980 by the Soviet Army.

Russia reportedly operates about 350 of the systems, while the same system has over the years been exported to countries including Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, Georgia, India, North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Its functionality is diverse, allowing for the targeting of maneuvering aircraft in addition to helicopters flying at low or high altitudes.

The updated Buk-M1-2, also called the SA-17, was developed between 1994 and 1997 and entered military service shortly thereafter. It can shoot missiles that can travel 45 kilometers (about 28 miles) while reaching an altitude of 25 kilometers (15 miles).

Newer Buk versions were revealed by Russian forces nearly a year ago, not long after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The 9K317M Buk-M3, or “Viking” as it’s known, is such an improvement over its predecessors that the US Department of Defense provided it a new designation, SA-27, according to The Drive.

The medium-range surface-to-air missile system was described by Army Recognition as “a completely new system” compared to the previous Buk-M2 model due to its advanced electronic components and a deadly new missile.

Developed by Almaz-Antey, the Buk-M3 has a new digital computer, high-speed data exchange system, and a tele-thermal imaging target designator that exceeds capabilities of previous models.

Ukraine has used the same general air defense system, Cato Institute policy analyst Jordan Cohen told Newsweek, calling the nation’s retrofitting of such systems “useful” because of its radar and range. It can also detect and attempt to take down sea-skimming missiles.

“Ultimately, like with the S-300, Ukraine’s main issue is going to be ammunition,” Cohen said. “They have been stopping large amounts of Russian air attacks over the last year and have denied Russia air superiority. That works until they run out of ammunition and systems.”

Ammunition, not only for air missile defense systems but across all spectrums of Ukrainian military equipment, has been deemed a critical concern by multiple arms experts.

As the United States has offered additional munitions for weapons, including HIMARS and howitzers, other NATO nations—as well as NATO itself—have become wary about diminishing stockpiles.

Calls by current and former US military personnel to provide Ukraine with F-16 aircraft is a worse strategy than requesting more ammunition and missile defense systems, Cohen said.

“The reason why Ukraine wants things like the F-16 is to overcome this problem [i.e., bring the fight to Russia]but due to technology that Russia possesses, keeping these expensive aircrafts safe is exceedingly difficult,” he said. “Beyond that, moving towards the same offensive strategy that failed for Russia earlier in the war is a poor decision.”

Ukraine must also acknowledge that Russia is making it cheaper to fire missiles than it is for Ukraine to stop them, he added, calling it a “conundrum” without a simple solution.

Newsweek reached out to the Ukrainian and Russian defense ministries for comment.

A Russian anti-aircraft missile defense system was hit by Ukrainian forces on Tuesday, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a Facebook post.

Latest Posts


Don't Miss

Stay in touch

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.