Russia to Upgrade Air Defense Along Ukraine Border

Russia will upgrade the anti-aircraft systems in its south, replacing the S-300 surface-to-air system with the S-300PM-2, Izvestia revealed, citing sources.

The upgrade, planned in Rostov Oblast and Crimea, is part of the country’s southern military district rearmament, the outlet added. The system will be deployed alongside the S- 400 and the C-350 Vityaz.

Increased NATO Presence

The planned deployment of the PM-2 system has come as the Black Sea and east of Ukraine have seen “unprecedented activity of reconnaissance aircraft and navies of NATO countries,” the outlet wrote, citing Russia’s former deputy minister of foreign affairs Sergei Ordzhonikidze.

“From this region, NATO planes and ships can launch missile attacks on cities in the south and even the center of the country, including Moscow. New technology, as well as the capabilities of our armed forces in this area, play an important role in influencing international politics,” the outlet added.

S-400 Triumf air defense missile system
A training exercise by the Russian Baltic Fleet’s air defense units involving S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems, January 26, 2017. Image: Vitaly Nevar/Tass

Upgrade on S-300

Citing Lieutenant General Aytech Bizhev, the outlet explained that the system is better equipped to intercept “cruise missiles and other air targets with a small reflective surface,” in comparison to the S-300. 

It added that the system’s enhanced “noise immunity” enables it to perform better against counter-electronic warfare scenarios, while its “automation processes information faster,” resulting in quicker reaction to enemy actions.

Ongoing Military Modernization

The system can intercept air targets such as “fifth-generation aircraft, short-range ballistic missiles, and tactical medium-range ballistic missiles,” at a range of 250 km (155 miles). Additionally, the PM-2 boasts a “more powerful” munition, more advanced multifunctional radar station, mobile command post, and guidance station (firing radar).”

Meanwhile, the south district has received over 1,500 pieces of new military equipment this year, “including helicopters, aircraft, ships and armored vehicles, as well as communications and electronic warfare.” The infusion of new weapons has raised the district’s share of modernized military equipment to 71 percent. 

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