Belarus tests surface-to-air missiles for Buk-MB2 air defense system


Belarus successfully tests a new surface-to-air missile (SAM) intended for the indigenously built Buk-MB2 medium-range SAM system, the country’s State Committee for Military Industry (Goskomvoenprom. GKVP) announced on February 28.


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9M318 missile for Buk-MB2 air defense system (Picture source: Army Recognition)


"On February 17-26, OKB TSP [a part of the GKVP] and several crews from the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defense Troops [VVS i PVO] conducted the first flight tests of a prototype of the 9M318 SAM that is intended for the Buk-MB2 system," said the GKVP in a statement on February 28.

According to the Committee, the 9M318 has been developed with the use of cutting-edge technologies. "The missile integrates composite components and increases the [Buk-MB2’s] firing range to 70 km," said a spokesperson for the GKVP. According to him, the new SAM features an active seeker that allows engaging aerial vehicles with low radar signature and firing more missiles before the destruction of an acquired target. The 9M138 engages high-speed maneuvering aerodynamic targets, tactical ballistic/cruise/air-launched//anti-ship missiles, helicopters (including the hovering ones), surface vehicles, and radiocontrast ground targets.

According to the GKVP, the 9M318 successfully destroyed a Berkut-VM tactical unmanned aerial vehicle during the aforementioned launches. The first tests of the SAM in an environment with several aerial targets are scheduled for late 2020.

Belarus is known to be developing the 9M318 SAM in conjunction with a foreign state. "[The production of] the missile features the highest localization level possible," said the spokesperson for the GKVP. He detailed neither precise production localization level nor the abovementioned foreign partner. The 9M318 missile is believed to be compatible with the Buk-MB3K self-propelled SAM system that was unveiled at the MILEX 2019 defense show held in Minsk in May 2019.


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The 9M318 missile is believed to be compatible with the Buk-MB3K self-propelled SAM system that was unveiled at the MILEX 2019 defense show held in Minsk in May 2019 (Picture source: Army Recognition)


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