Skip to main content

Ukrainian drone attacks lead Russia to reinvent Moscow air defense

In a recent development reported by Russian television on September 3, 2023, Russian authorities have initiated a substantial upgrade of their air defense capabilities in response to a rising wave of drone attacks, particularly in the Moscow region. This initiative has led to the establishment of new positional air defense structures, which take the form of fortified embankments and towers constructed from metal or reinforced concrete. Additionally, it has prompted the relocation of Pantsir-S1, Pantsir-S2, and Arctic-specific Pantsir-SA air defense systems.
Follow Army Recognition on Google News at this link

Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
Ukrainian drone attacks drive Russia to reinvent Moscow air defense (Picture source VK)

Some experts have drawn comparisons between these new structures and Germany's Flak Towers constructed around Berlin during World War II. Both have the objective of elevating air defense systems to extend their range and effectiveness and may also serve a propaganda role related to Moscow's inhabitants.

The urgency of these air defense upgrades is due to an escalating series of drone attacks originating from Ukraine. These attacks have included strikes on the Moscow region, presenting a significant security challenge for Russia. The objective of these attacks appears to involve psychological warfare, aiming to create panic, sow uncertainty, and erode public confidence in the capabilities of the Russian Armed Forces.

Beyond immediate defense against drone threats, the new air defense structures are expected to have strategic implications in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. They will divert resources, military assets, and materials away from frontline positions or deeper within Russia's territory. This relocation includes an unknown number of Pantsir systems, including the Pantsir-S1, Pantsir-S2, and notably, the Pantsir-SA, specially designed to be used for the Arctic region.

Regarding the technical effect, these structures will serve a crucial role in expanding the effective radar coverage and interception capabilities of the Pantsir air defense systems.

For instance, the embankments provide an additional 10 meters of elevation, expanding radar coverage from approximately 33 km to 42 km against targets flying at an altitude of 50 meters. Towers, when positioned at a height of 50 meters, can potentially extend radar coverage to 58 km against low-altitude threats.

While the exact cost of these construction efforts remains undisclosed, Moscow's mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, revealed that a substantial workforce of 1,500 to 2,000 personnel is working daily to create these new air defense positions. The process of establishing each position, including the installation of modular buildings for personnel, takes up to four days.

While the new air defense structures in Russia are designed to enhance the country's defense capabilities against drone threats and potentially serve strategic purposes, there are several potential military-related problems and challenges associated with these structures.

The heavy focus on protecting Moscow could lead to a concentration of military assets and forces around the capital. This concentration makes Moscow a more attractive target for adversaries seeking to inflict damage on Russia's military capabilities, as the stationary nature of these structures could make them vulnerable to precision strikes, including missile or kamikaze drone attacks.

Maintaining and supplying these positions may pose logistical challenges. Ensuring a continuous flow of resources and personnel to these locations, especially during a conflict, can be demanding and may strain logistical networks.

The evolving nature of drone technology means that adversaries may develop tactics and technology to counter these air defense structures. If these structures are not adaptable to changing threats, their effectiveness could diminish over time. As mentioned earlier, these structures may serve a propaganda role by highlighting Russia's investment in defending Moscow. However, the failure to protect the capital from drone attacks or other threats could also have negative propaganda effects.

The financial cost of constructing and maintaining these structures remains undisclosed, but it is likely substantial. Overinvestment in air defense infrastructure could have long-term economic repercussions for Russia, especially if these resources could have been allocated more efficiently elsewhere. Finally, by committing resources to static air defense positions, Russia may limit its operational flexibility and ability to respond quickly to changing military scenarios.

According to Radio Liberty, at least one of these structures was installed next to the village of Zareche. The village is located less than 10 kilometers from the residence of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Novo-Ogaryov.


Copyright © 2019 - 2024 Army Recognition | Webdesign by Zzam