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Belarus now operates five Tor-M2 air defense missile batteries

Belarusian Armed Forces` 1146th Guards Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment has activated a new battery of the Russian-made Tor-M2EK (NATO reporting name: SA-15 Gauntlet; EK for ‘export-oriented wheeled’, Eksportniy, Kolyosniy) short-range air defense (SHORAD) systems, Defense Minister of the Republic of Belarus Lieutenant General Andrey Ravkov told media.

Belarus now operates five Tor M2EK air defense missile batteries 925 001
Belarus Tor-M2K at military parade in Minsk. (Picture source

"The crew of the battery was trained at the Ashuluk test range [Astrakhan Region] within the framework of the Russian-Belarusian military technical cooperation. The Tor-M2 is the most effective SHORAD weapon in the world in terms of configuration, maneuverability, and combat performance. In 2012, we decided to procure the [Tor-M2] system and this goal is now being accomplished," said Ravkov. The SAM systems were augmented by two Tor-M2EK simulators.

According to the minister, the 1146th Guards Surface-to-Air Missile Regiment has been on duty since December 1. "The unit covers airspace in country`s northwestern area and protects the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant," said Ravkov. He added that the Tor-M2EK SAM systems would be involved in the Combat Commonwealth 2019 (Boyevoye Sodruzhestvo 2019) exercise at the Ashuluk range.

The Belarusian military now operates five Tor-M2EK batteries. According to the country`s MoD, the Tor-M2EK SHORAD system can simultaneously track up to 48 targets flying at distances of up to 32 km. The Gauntlet engages aerial vehicles flying at an altitude between 0.01 km and 10 km and at a distance between 1 km and 12 km. The system is armed with eight 9M331-family SAMs and can simultaneously engage up to four aerial targets. The Tor-M2EK has a combat readiness time of three minutes.

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