Tuesday, April 10, 2012

NIEMI/Antey S-300V 9K81/9K81-1/9K81M/MK Self Propelled Air Defence System / SA-12/SA-23 Giant/Gladiator

"The highly mobile Antey S-300V and S-300VM remain one of the most lethal area defence SAM systems ever developed, firing hypersonic missiles designed to engage aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.

Designed from the outset for high mobility and effectiveness against targets at all altitudes, the S-300V would have been a key player in any late Cold War conflict. This weapon was developed to provide not only long range area defence, but also to engage and destroy ISR assets like the E-3 AWACS, E-8 JSTARS and U-2, and tactical jammers like the EF-111A Raven and EA-6B Prowler.

There have been repeated reports since the beginning of the decade in the Indian media that a buy of this system was imminent, but to date none has materialised. Numerous reports have also surfaced that the PLA is operating either an S-300V or S-300VM variant under the designation of HQ-18, although no hard evidence to support this claim has emerged as yet.

From an Australian perspective the possible deployment of S-300V family of missiles in Asia is of major concern. Rapidly deployable, high survivable, and highly lethal, these weapons are especially difficult to counter and require significant capabilities to robustly defeat. The US Air Force currently envisages the F-22A Raptor as the primary weapon used to defeat these capable systems.

It is important to note that no F/A-18 variant, nor the Joint Strike Fighter, were designed to penetrate the coverage of the S-300V/VM systems. The survivability of these aircraft will not be significantly better than that of legacy combat aircraft."

This ABM - AAA system is compared to the American Sprint system, but is not quite as capable. The major difference is that sprint can achieve a top speed of mach 10 (in a matter of seconds no less) and defeats targets with a 1 kt warhead. This system is mobile, but one must question it's ability to function at high altitude or against hardened warheads since it only carries a conventional warhead. Hit to kill would be the best bet at high altitude and against hard targets in this case.

AUS Air Power

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