Ukraine Military Ends Guided Missile Tests Near Crimea Amid Russia’s Protests


 Ukrainian missile complexes launch medium range guided missiles during military drills in southern Kherson region bordering Crimea, Ukraine, December 1, 2016


    Ukraine has announced an end to its missile drills near Crimea.

   KIEV (Sputnik) — The Ukrainian Armed Forces have wrapped up surface-to-air missile tests in southern Ukraine, Chief of General Staff Gen. Viktor Muzhenko said Friday.

   “Flight and control tests of anti-aircraft guided missiles are successfully completed. The armed forces have taken an important step in increasing their combat capability and gaining opportunities to protect their state,” Muzhenko wrote on his Facebook page.

   Russia’s air transport agency Rosaviatsia said last week that Ukraine unilaterally decided to hold missile firing exercises near Crimea’s Simferopol on December 1-2 in violation of international agreements.

   Moscow repeatedly called Kiev’s missile launches in the Black Sea a threat to the safety of Russian civilian flights to Crimea and a provocation. Russian aviation authorities also informed the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) about the tests, so far without a response.

   The Russian Defense Ministry summoned Ukraine’s defense attache last week to serve a note protesting Kiev illegally restricting the use of airspace over the Black Sea during the missile firing drills near Crimea.

Russia may consider delivering air defense systems to Turkey

© Grigory Sysoyev/TASS

MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. Russia may consider delivering air defense systems to Turkey, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

The presidential spokesman made this statement as he was answering questions about the visit, which Russian President Vladimir Putin had paid to Turkey on Monday.

“Indeed, the issues related to military and technical cooperation were on the agenda of contacts between Putin and [Turkish President Tayyip] Erdogan,” Peskov told journalists.

“Various air defense systems were mentioned,” he added.

“If the Turkish side expresses its desire, Russia may consider the possibility of their delivery to Turkey in various modifications,” the Kremlin spokesman said.

“But this is a purely commercial issue, a very sensitive area of cooperation,” Peskov said.

The Russian leader told journalists after his talks on Monday that Russia was ready to continue interaction with Turkey in the sphere of military and technical cooperation and fill it with serious projects of mutual interest.

According to Putin, the proposals from both sides are being studied and have all the grounds for being implemented.


New targeting system to double range of Russia’s Pantsir air defense system

Pantsir-S air defense system

Pantsir-S air defense system

© Sergei Bobylev/Russian Defence Ministry Press Office/TASS

TULA, October 6. /TASS/. The upgraded Pantsir-SM combined surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system, equipped with a multifunctional targeting system, will be able to destroy targets 40 kilometers away – twice the range of the current configuration, the first deputy CEO, chief designer of the Instrument Design Bureau KBP, in Tula (an affiliate of Rostec), Alexander Khomyakov, told the media.

He recalled that the range of fire of the current system Pantsir-S1 is about 20 kilometers, while the next generation, Pantsir-SM can hit targets 40 kilometers away.

The new Pantsir will be able to identify targets at a distance of 75 kilometers (in contrast to the current model’s 40-kilometer capability, Khomyakov said.

The components of a newly-developed air defense system are in the testing phase. Khomyakov said nothing about when they may be completed.

Last August the Russian Defense Ministry said that Pantsir-SM would go operational “very soon.” According to earlier reports, the new system will be armed with a high-speed missile noticeably surpassing the current equivalents. There have been reports work is in progress on Pantsir’s naval and Arctic configurations.


Preliminary tests of Russia’s sea-based Pantsir air defense system completed — official

© Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry/TASS/archive

TULA, September 16. /TASS/. Preliminary trials of the Patsir-M anti-aircraft cannon system have been completed successfully, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said on Friday.

“We have conducted preliminary tests of the sea-based Pantsir, which demonstrated positive results. Now we are to begin official tests. We hope to begin by the end of this year,” he told journalists.

He said the new weapons system will be mounted on various types of warships, “from small-sized missile ships to big patrol vessels.”

According to earlier reports, it is planned to begin tests of the sea-based Pantsir system onboard a ship at the end of 2016.

The Pantsir-M is designed to supersede the Kortik system.


Russia starts developing 5th-generation medium-range air defense missile systems

© Sergey Bobylev/TASS

KUBINKA (Moscow region), September 8. /TASS/. Russia’s weapons manufacturer Almaz-Antey Concern has started the development of the fifth-generation medium-range air defense missile system, a company official told journalists on Thursday at the Army 2016 Forum.

“Almaz-Antey starts the research and development activities (R&D) to create the fifth-generation medium-range air defense missile systems. The R&D efforts will be conducted on the base of JSC Tikhomirov Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Design, which is the leading developer of the air defense missile systems of the Buk family,” the company representative said.

“The fifth-generation medium-range air defense missile system will have a deep integration with the single layered air defense system and support of the network-centric control system,” he added.

In addition, the new system’s target acquisition and destruction area will be expanded, it will also have increased jamming resistance and endurance capabilities, also through the application of automation and robotics.

This summer, Almaz-Antey has successfully tested the fourth-generation Buk-M3 missile system. According to the company press service, thanks to a new missile, the system almost two times surpasses in characteristics the previous models and has no analogues in the world. In addition, the company sources said, the missile’s lower mass has made it possible to 1.5 times increase the ammunition load.

“The new missile has a significantly lower weight. This has increased the missile system vehicle’s on-board ammunition capacity 1.5 times. The new system’s missiles are carried in containers and launched from them”, Almaz-Antey said then. Head of the Russian Air Defense Forces Alexander Leonov said previously that “a unique new missile” was created for the Buk-M3 version. A new cutting-edge missile has been created for the Buk-M3 medium-range air defense missile system, he said. “The self-propelled system’s transport and firing boxes are designed to hold six missiles. Missiles are more compact but are more precise and capable of flying longer distances. So, it can be called a new unique missile capable of efficiently hitting air targets,” he said. He said the capacity of the new missile system had been boosted by 1.5 times as it is capable of holding six missiles instead of four.

Earlier, a Russian defense source told TASS the Buk-M3 missile systems would be included into the Russia army’ inventory before the end of 2016 and would arrive to the army starting from 2016. The Buk-M3 system is superior to the S-300 air defense missile system by a number of characteristics, including the kill probability. The Buk-M3 system has a range of 70 kilometers (43.5 miles), which is 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) more compared to previous versions of the Buk antiaircraft missile system. The Buk-M3 has a maximum firing altitude of 35 kilometers (21.7 miles). Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said previously there were plans to make operational the first brigade set of the new Buk system in 2016.


Belarusian air defense forces receive advanced Russian radar

MINSK, August 16. /TASS/. An advanced Russian medium- and long-range air surveillance radar station, Protivnik-GE, has arrived for a radio-technical unit of the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defense troops, the republic’s Defense Ministry reported on Tuesday.

“A possibility will now appear to detect and track ballistic targets, as well as to increase the range of aerial target detection, increase the mobility of the automated grouping and cut expenses on the radar’s operation through the use of modern technologies,” the Belarusian Defense Ministry said.

As Chief of the Belarusian General Staff, First Deputy Defense Minister Major-General Oleg Belokonev said, the radar delivery is an historic moment for radio-technical troops and the troops’ switchover to “a new qualitative level for ensuring national security, helping to increase combat capabilities considerably and raise their mobility.”

Air Force and Air Defense Commander Major-General Oleg Dvigalyov said that another radar station would enter service early next year and Belarus would receive a total of seven such radars by 2020.

According to data of the Belarusian Defense Ministry, the mobile three-dimensional radar station Protivnik-GE is designed to detect, determine coordinates and track strategic and tactical aircraft, airborne missiles, ballistic targets, small-size, low-speed aircraft amid intensive jamming, and also to issue radar data to command post automated systems. The small number of transport vehicles and the automated antenna elevation system help quickly deploy (displace) the radar on unprepared terrain within slightly over 30 minutes.


Russian anti-aircraft gunners hold firing drills in Russia, Tajikistan

©  Donat Sorokin/TASS

YEKATERINBURG, July 27. /TASS/. More than 3,000 anti-aircraft gunners of Russia’s Central Military District are involved in a field exercise of the air defense troops that takes place simultaneously at ranges in the Astrakhan, Orenburg and Chelyabinsk regions of Russia, as well as in Tajikistan, the district’s press service reported on Wednesday.

“The drills involve more than 800 units of military and special air defense equipment, as well as more than 3,000 anti-aircraft defense troops. At the final stage of the manoeuvers, tactical exercises with live firing from the S-300, Buk-M2, Tor-M2 anti-aircraft missile systems, as well as from the Tunguska tracked self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon armed with a surface-to-air gun and missile system and Igla surface-to-air missile defense system will be held. It is planned to spend more than 4,000 rounds of ammunition of various types, including more than 120 missiles,” the press service said.

The field exercise will last until September 4. “The troops will practice cover of military and civilian facilities from the imaginary enemy’s air attack in unfamiliar terrain in a difficult ground, air and electronic environment”, the press service said.