Skip to main content

Ukraine modifies S-200 air defense missiles for long-range ground strikes.

| 2023

According to a tweet by Chuck Pfarrer dated October 3, 2023, the Ukrainian military has repurposed the S-200 surface-to-air missile system to function as a long-range surface-to-surface weapon. These modified missiles have been used to target Russian forces in occupied territories of Ukraine. The first images, showing the launch of a modified S-200 missile, were released by Ukrainian television.
Follow Army Recognition on Google News at this link

Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
First images released by Ukrainian television show the launch of a modified S-200 missile (Picture source: Army Recognition and Ukraine MoD)

Originally designed in the 1960s by the Soviet Union's Almaz design bureau, the S-200 (NATO designation SA-5 'Gammon') was intended for anti-aircraft operations against American strategic bombers. The Ukrainian military decommissioned these systems in late 2013 due to their "moral and physical obsolescence," but reintroduced them into service in 2018. The S-200 has been in service for over six decades.

The modified missile has now been adapted by Ukrainian forces to serve in a surface-to-surface role. The modified S-200 missile weighs approximately 7,108 kg at takeoff and can deliver a 217 kg high-explosive blast/fragmentation warhead. It is powered by a 5D67 liquid-fueled sustainer rocket engine and is assisted by four solid rocket boosters that separate after the launch phase. The missile's navigation systems have likely been augmented by GPS and inertial guidance to improve accuracy.

The modified S-200 has a declared range of 250-300 kilometers against air targets, and it is believed that the range against ground targets could be 482 kilometers. The Russian Defense Ministry has openly stated that the attacks were carried out by the "Kyiv regime" with these modified S-200 missiles, although Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for such attacks.

Ukraine also reportedly modified the launch platforms to increase the missile's mobility, making it a more versatile weapon in the ongoing conflict. This modification would allow faster deployment and increased operational flexibility, unfortunately, we do not have more information on these modifications.

Ukraine has a small stockpile of these missiles, but it is also noted that allies like Bulgaria and the Czech Republic have large stocks of S-200s.

The modification of the S-200 missiles marks a significant development in Ukraine's military capabilities. By repurposing these existing systems, Ukraine has not only extended the life of its existing arsenal, but also added a new dimension to its offensive capabilities. Moreover, this development is part of Ukraine's broader strategy to localize the production of defense equipment.

Ukraine's adaptation of the S-200 missile system for ground strikes has several advantages. First, Ukraine can leverage existing infrastructure and logistics, which could speed up deployment and reduce costs. Second, the S-200 has a long history of reliable service, which can inspire confidence in its ability to deliver effective ground strikes. Third, this modification adds operational versatility to the system, allowing it to serve in both air defense and ground attack. It could also improve interoperability between air defense and ground attack operations, making command and control more effective during complex military engagements. Finally, using the S-200 for ground strikes could introduce an element of tactical surprise, thereby increasing the chances of success of the operation.

As a reminder, the original missile system includes a two-stage missile with a semi-active radar-homing guidance system. it comes in different variants, including the 5V21, 5V28, and 5V28V. The 5V28V variant has specific specifications such as a mass of 7,100 kg (15,700 lb), a length of 10,800 mm (35.4 ft), a maximum operational range of 300 kilometers (190 miles), a flight altitude of up to 40,000 meters (130,000 feet), and a maximum speed of Mach 8 (9,800 km/h; 6,100 mph).

For further details on the modifications made to the S-200, you can refer to the article published by the Army Recognition Group.


Copyright © 2019 - 2024 Army Recognition | Webdesign by Zzam