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Ukrainian Forces Destroy Russian S-400 Triumph Air Defense Missile System in Crimea

In a significant development that could have far-reaching implications in the region, a Russian S-400 "Triumph" air defense missile system was completely destroyed by Ukrainian forces near the village of Olenivka on the Tarhankut Peninsula in temporarily occupied Crimea. The incident occurred on August 23, 2023, at around 10:00 AM local time and was announced by the Ukrainian military intelligence.
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Ukrainian forces have destroyed one Russian 5P85SM2 TEL Transporter Erector Launcher, a key element of the S-400 air defense missile system. (Picture source Ukraine MoD)

According to information published by the Ukrainian military intelligence on the same day, Ukrainian forces were responsible for the destruction of the Russian S-400 "Triumph" system. Citing information from Ukrainian military intelligence, the strike was probably carried out from a ship. The exact details of the operation have not been disclosed, but the successful strike marks a notable achievement for the Ukrainian military.

However, this is not the first time that Ukrainian forces say they have targeted an S-400. This was the case in November 2022 and last July. Each time, a TEL (Transporter Erector Launcher) 5P85SM2, which is only one of the components of this system, was destroyed. However, the violence of the explosion generated by the strike carried out by the GUR (Ukrainian Military Intelligence) suggests that other elements were damaged, if not destroyed.

The explosion not only obliterated the missile system but also the missiles mounted on it and the personnel manning the installation. The loss of the S-400 "Triumph" is seen as a significant blow to the occupiers' air defense system. Given the limited number of such advanced complexes in the enemy's arsenal, military analysts believe that this incident will have a serious impact on the strategic balance in occupied Crimea.

The S-400 "Triumph" is one of Russia's most advanced anti-aircraft missile systems, capable of engaging a wide range of targets, including aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles. Its destruction is likely to create a gap in the air defense coverage in the region, potentially altering the dynamics of the ongoing situation in Crimea.

The S-400 "Triumph" is renowned for its advanced combat capabilities, making it one of the most formidable anti-aircraft missile systems in the world. It is designed to detect, track, and destroy a wide array of aerial targets, including fighter jets, bombers, reconnaissance aircraft, cruise missiles, and even ballistic missiles. With a range of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles) and the ability to engage targets at altitudes ranging from a few meters to several tens of kilometers, the S-400 provides a comprehensive air defense umbrella. Its radar system can simultaneously track multiple targets, enabling it to handle complex and dense air traffic environments.

Furthermore, the S-400's versatility is enhanced by its compatibility with various types of missiles, allowing it to adapt to different threat profiles. Its multi-layered approach, utilizing long-range, medium-range, and short-range missiles, ensures that it can engage targets at different distances and altitudes effectively. The system's mobility and relatively quick deployment time add to its tactical advantages, allowing it to be positioned and repositioned as required by the battlefield dynamics. The integration of the S-400 into a broader air defense network can significantly enhance the overall defensive capabilities of a region, making it a strategic asset for any military force.

The 5P85SM2 is a specific type of Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) used with the S-400 "Triumph" anti-aircraft missile system. A TEL is a vehicle equipped with an integrated prime mover that can carry, elevate to a firing position, and launch one or more land-based surface-to-air missiles.

In the context of the S-400 system, the 5P85SM2 is part of the missile's ground mobility components, allowing the system to be transported to different locations and prepared for launch. It plays a crucial role in the system's flexibility and ability to respond to threats quickly.

The international community will be closely monitoring the developments following this incident, as it may lead to changes in the military posture and strategy of the involved parties. The situation in Crimea remains tense, and this event adds a new layer of complexity to an already volatile region.

Ukrainian Forces Destroy Russian S 400 Triumph Air Defense Missile System in Crimea 925 002
A TEL Transporter Erector Launcher 5P85SM2, which is only one of the components of the S-400 air defense missile system, was destroyed.

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