April 13, 2024

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Large missiles to shoot down large Russian aircraft

Large missiles to shoot down large Russian aircraft

according to Ukrainian magazine the truthThe missile used by the Ukrainian air force to shoot down a rare Russian A-50 radar plane on Friday was not a US-made Patriot, as many observers assumed.

No, it is said to be a former Soviet 5V28 missile: the missile component of the S-200 air defense system.

In retrospect, it should have been obvious that something other than a Patriot missile shot down the A-50. The lumbering radar plane was about 120 miles from the front line in southern Ukraine when it fell to the ground. While Patriot missiles typically have a range of only 90 miles, the S-200 can hit targets 150 miles or farther away.

We already knew that the Ukrainians had reactivated some of their old S-200 batteries.Of the 16 aircraft the Soviet Air Force maintained throughout Ukraine– Because they were firing them at targets on the ground in occupied Ukraine, and even in Russia itself.

We didn't know that the Ukrainians were firing brutal missiles at them pneumatic Goals until this week.

But the evolution makes sense. The S-200 is not the most accurate air defense system in the world. It's definitely less accurate than the Patriot. But what the S-200 lacks in versatility, it makes up for in sheer power.

The eight-ton 5V28 β€œis a big rocket with a really heavy, massive search space.” books Trent Telenko, former quality auditor with the US Defense Contract Management Agency. The 5V28 has a massive 500-pound warhead.

The Soviet Union developed the S-200 system in the early 1960s specifically to target US Air Force heavy bombers. Finally, Ukraine stopped using air defense dinosaurs more than a decade ago due to their relative bulk: they are heavy, bulky and difficult to transport, as well as the high cost of developing them.

But upgrade He was On the table. Prior to the current broader war, the Ukrainian government considered reactivating some of the S-200 systems and retrofitting them with the same new model developed by Ukrainian industry for the smaller S-125 air defense system.

Given the reasonably good accuracy of the revived Ukrainian S-200 missiles in the surface-to-surface role, there is a good chance that Kiev engineers will install a better seeker in the 5V28: either the new seeker for the S-125 or another model. Whether the same researcher might operate in a ground-to-air role is an open question.

Regardless, Friday's downing of the plane marked a return to the classic missile model that the Soviets designed specifically to kill large, slow aircraft. The A-50 is nothing if not big and slow.

Now, the billion-dollar question: How many 5V28s are left in Ukraine? The Ukrainian Air Force may have had hundreds β€” even a thousand β€” missiles when it last took the S-200 system out of service around 2013.

But big, chemical-filled rockets don't last forever. It is therefore possible that the Ukrainians have acquired new batches of 5V28 missiles from their allies who still operate the S-200 system. Poles, maybe. Or even Bulgarians.

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