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Verba 9K333 MANPADS will defend Russian long-range radar against drone attacks

Russian-made 9K333 Verba (SA-25) MAN-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) will defend long-range radars against drone threats. They have to down cruise missiles and drones. The Syrian combat showed that drones pose a major threat to radars. The adversary engages them to destroy radars and strip air defense of the viewing ability. Experts believe MANPADS will reinforce the defense of radars which has been insufficient until recently, the Izvestia daily writes.

Verba 9K333 MANPADS will defend Russian long range radar against drone attacks 925 001
Russian-made Verba 9K333 SA-25 MANPADS Man-Portable Air Defense System.  (Picture source Army Recognition)

The first 9K333 Verba has been supplied to radar brigades and regiments. Their interaction was successfully tested at Center-2019 exercise, as well as the tactic to repel drone and cruise missile strikes, Defense Ministry sources said.

Radars constantly maintain the radar field along the perimeter of Russian borders, former Air Force Deputy Commander for CIS air defense Lieutenant-General Aitech Bizhev said. "The radars are the eyes and ears of the air defense and fighter jet aviation. They are the first to detect border violators and transmit information to air defense and aircraft. In case of hostilities, the radars will be attacked and their reinforced defense by antiaircraft weapons is a timely and justified measure," he said.

Previously, the radars were defended by large-caliber DShK machineguns. However, they cannot down modern air attack means. Only new-generation antiaircraft weapons can repel a massive attack by drones or cruise missiles, he added.

Units armed with Verba are the last resort of the air defense. They have to down targets which broke through the defense of S-300 and S-400, as well as Buk and Tor medium and short-range weapons, etc.

Due to the new aiming system, the shooter does not have to see the adversary. The guidance system of the MANPAD has augmented reality elements and can down jets, helicopters and cruise missiles before the operator can see them.

The weapon has to be connected with the Garmon mobile system which detects air targets at a distance of 40 km or radar which the MANPAD protects. Early detection helps the operator prepare for an attack and rectify an error in case of a miss.

Antiaircraft weapons have to be designed that will automatically or semi-automatically destroy drones and small targets, expert Vladislav Shurygin believes. "The task is faced by all armies in the world. Drones are a cheap, affordable and dangerous weapon. Ideally, a launcher with a cheap antiaircraft missile is necessary to fight them. It is too expensive to engage traditional weapons against drones," he said.

Verba will be initially delivered to units armed with Nioby-SV radars which detect air targets at a major distance and provide guidance to aircraft and air defense. They can automatically track several dozen targets, precisely determine the coordinates and movement parameters of aircraft and missiles, and identify all types of combat hardware.

The radars will comprise the backbone of the automatic air defense control system. They will be integrated into the command systems of the troops to engage all antiaircraft weapons of various forces in case of an attack.

The new radars will document all data on the airspace situation and keep them in an electronic database. The information can be used as legal proof of a state border violation. The new hardware has been tested by the troops. In the future, the radars will protect Crimea and the south of the country, the Izvestia said

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