First S-350 Vityaz air defense system to be supplied to Russian 24th mobile missile brigade

The first S-350 Vityaz air defense systems will be supplied to the 24th mobile antiaircraft missile brigade which defends strategically important facilities in Krasnoyarsk region, Khakassia and other Siberian areas. The brigade which is to cover a major territory will have to change positions depending on the situation, the Izvestia daily writes.

First S 350 Vityaz air defense system to be supplied to Russian 24th mobile missile brigade
S-350 Vityaz air defense system (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Battalions of the brigade deployed in Khakassia’s capital city of Abakan will become mobile to be deployed in any region in the east of the country. In a new position, the servicemen will have to rapidly deploy the hardware, fire and immediately change the position, sources in the Defense Ministry said. The tactic will make the brigade invulnerable to the adversary. It is practically impossible to detect the hardware driving in taiga even if it is monitored by a proper group of satellites.

S-350 will cover major Siberian territories. The Abakan brigade was selected not occasionally. It is the only antiaircraft formation subordinated to the Aerospace Forces rather than to the air defense which makes it experimental. The acquired experience is likely to be broadly used in the future. One of the first S-350 sets will be delivered to the Vasilevsky Military Air Defense Academy in Smolensk, sources in the Defense Ministry said.

The idea to create mobile air defense brigades emerged in the early 1990s when the troops began receiving S-300. One of the units was based in the Baltics. It was later withdrawn to Russia and developed into the 14th mobile air defense division which could rapidly advance to the northwestern regions of the country. However, the brigade was later disbanded, former commander of the antiaircraft forces Lieutenant-General Alexander Gorkov said. "Such units have to move by themselves, rail, water, and air. S-350 is very mobile. It can be deployed together with Pantsir and operate in tandem. Another Vityaz advantage is a big round of munitions," he said.

S-350 comprises several combat modules on wheeled undercarriage: combat control post which receives all information on the air situation, two multirole radars and new self-propelled launchers. The long-range radar is in charge of detecting and identifying ballistic and aerodynamic targets.

The multirole illuminator radar can detect missiles and flying craft, but its main mission is to lock on a target and guide missiles at it. The electronics fully control combat actions and the operator has only to monitor the process and introduce changes, if necessary. The deployment time of the complex after a march is close to five minutes.

S-350 can fire two types of munitions: short-range 9M100 missile with an infrared homing warhead and medium-range 9M96 which guarantee the destruction of existing and prospective ballistic and cruise missiles, fighter jets, drones and strategic bombers.

Vityaz has to defend administrative, industrial, infrastructure and military facilities from massive air strikes. It can operate autonomously and under control of a single command post of air defense, aerospace and ground forces.

It will replace S-300, former Air Force deputy commander-in-chief for the United CIS air defense retired Lieutenant-General Aitech Bizhev said. "S-350 is more mobile than predecessors, which allows quickly redeploying it. Besides, it has a new element base which increases productivity in destroying air targets. The main difference from the previous model is the presence of new launchers. One launcher can carry 12 antiaircraft missiles against four on S-300. It saves recharging time and accelerates firing," he told the Izvestia.

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