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Slovakia announces donation to Ukraine of 2 2K12 Kub SA-6 air defense missile systems.

| 2023

According to a statement published by the Slovak Ministry of Defense on March 17, 2023, Slovakia will provide Ukraine with two launcher units of the 2K12 Kub, NATO reporting name SA-6 Gainful, missiles, spare parts, and associated equipment.
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Slovak armed forces 2K12 Kub air defense missile system. (Picture source Reddit)

As of January 2023, Slovakia has donated €167.8 million in aid to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia's invasion. Slovakia's military aid to Ukraine has included several items, such as the S-300 PMU air defense system, Božena mine-clearing unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), and 30 tracked BVP-1 infantry fighting vehicles.

In addition, Slovakia has provided five helicopters, small arms, munitions, and fuel. As part of an aid exchange program, Slovakia will receive 15 Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks from the Federal Republic of Germany in stages, in exchange for the transfer of the BVP-1 tracked armored IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles), Soviet-made BMP-1 IFVs.

The 2K12 Kub (NATO reporting name: SA-6 Gainful) is a mobile, low to medium altitude, surface-to-air missile (SAM) system developed by the Soviet Union in the 1960s. It was designed to provide air defense for ground forces against enemy aircraft and helicopters. The 2K12 Kub system has been widely used by various countries and has seen combat in several conflicts.

The launcher unit of the 2K12 Kub is armed with three missiles carried on a turntable that can be traversed through a full 360º with the missile elevated on their launchers to a maximum of +85º. When traveling, the turntable is normally traversed to the rear and the missiles are horizontal to reduce the overall height of the vehicle.

The primary missile launched by the 2K12 Kub is the 3M9ME, a two-stage, solid-fuel rocket-powered projectile fitted with a high-explosive fragmentation warhead. The warhead weighs about 56 kg (123 lbs) and is designed to detonate in proximity to the target, causing damage with shrapnel.

The missile system typically operates in conjunction with target acquisition radar and guidance radar, which help detect, track, and engage enemy aircraft. The target acquisition radar is responsible for detecting and tracking potential targets, while the guidance radar provides guidance to the missile, allowing it to home in on the target.

The 2K12 Kub system typically features four 3M9ME missiles mounted on a tracked vehicle, allowing for mobility and flexibility in deployment. The system can engage targets at altitudes ranging from 50 to 14,000 meters and has a range of approximately 20 to 25 km.

The 2K12 Kub (SA-6 Gainful) surface-to-air missile system uses a tracked vehicle as its mobile platform, allowing for quick deployment and repositioning on the battlefield. The tracked vehicle that carries the 2K12 Kub system is called the 2P25 transporter-erector-launcher (TEL).

The 2P25 TEL is based on the GM-578 chassis, which was derived from the Soviet Union's MT-LB multi-purpose tracked vehicle. The GM-578 chassis offers good cross-country mobility and can traverse various terrains, such as mud, snow, and sand. The vehicle can reach a top road speed of around 50 km/h. The off-road speed is typically lower, depending on the specific terrain and environmental conditions. The vehicle has a range of approximately 500 km on a single fuel load, which enables them to cover considerable distances while supporting ground forces.

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