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Russia upgrades its air defense systems to destroy HIMARS MLRS using new software

The destruction of the rocket launcher vehicles M142 HIMARS given to Ukraine by the United States becomes a priority for the Russian armed forces. Citing a Russian military source, the air defense units of the Russian army have received new software that makes it easy to shoot down HIMARS guided rockets.
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American-made HIMARS rocket launcher system of the Ukrainian army, June 2022. (Photo source Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine)

Citing information from the Ukrainian army, the M142 HIMARS donated by the United States completely changed the course of the war by providing a tactical advantage over similar Russian rocket launcher systems.

In fact, the American HIMAS offers the possibility to target Russian troops at a range of up to 80 km with more accuracy thanks to the use of guided rockets. Ukraine has also received the latest generation of a guided rocket, called M31A1.

The M31A1 GMLRS guided rocket is capable of attacking targets out to ranges of 70 kilometers and uses Inertial Measurement Unit guidance along with GPS to enhance accuracy. The M31A1 is a 298mm guided rocket equipped with a 90 kg warhead with 23 kg of explosives that can detonate above the ground, on impact, or deep in a bunker.

The M31A1 GMLRS can be fired by the HIMARS rocket launcher systems based on a truck chassis as well as the M270 rocket launcher system based on a tracked chassis. Both rocket launchers were delivered to the Ukrainian army by the United States and European countries.

Following the massive use of HIMARS rockets against Russian forces, Russia launched a research program to learn the technology embedded in the rockets fired by the HILMARS.

The Russian army has updated the software of its air defense systems which are now able to detect and destroy HIMARS guided rockets. To date, we cannot verify whether these updates are actually installed in the combat systems of the Russian army, but according to information published by the Russian Ministry of Defense, in recent days the air defense forces of the Russian army have shot down 10 guided rockets fired by Ukrainian army HIMARS.

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