Ukraine is probably going to make use of Soviet-era S-125 Pechora/Neva surface-to-air missiles (SAM) for land assaults and anti-ship roles if an image and accompanying info on Russian and Ukrainian social media networks is something to go by.
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The S-125 is a two-stage, solid-fuel, low-to-medium altitude SAM designed to shoot down bombers, fighter bombers, and cruise missiles.
The Pechora is likely one of the most well-known and standard SAM programs, which rose to prominence after it shot down a US F-117A Nighthawk, the world’s first stealth plane, through the 1999 NATO invasion of Yugoslavia.
Based on Ukrainian sources, a number of outdated S-125 air protection programs from storage have been commissioned in September as a part of the anti-ship coastal protection system.
S-125 “Pechora” air protection system someplace on the Black Beach
Ukraine is armed with 2 divisions (8 launchers) pic.twitter.com/wbhTItfnuo
— NOËL 🇪🇺 🇺🇦 (@NOELreports) November 10, 2022
Can The S-125 Be Used For Anti-Ship & Land Assault Roles?
Consultants imagine the S-125 to be a extremely succesful missile, which might be tweaked for surface-to-surface strikes and as an anti-ship (AShM) missile.
“The Pechora, regardless of its classic, continues to be a lethal weapon system. The Ukrainians had upgraded them from valve to digital a couple of decade in the past,” stated former IAF fighter pilot Rajiv Tyagi. Tyagi is presently a software program, expertise, and protection business skilled, concerned with air protection (AD) programs.
A tweet on August 20 confirmed Ukrainian army technicians assembling and getting ready the missile, with the accompanying message saying it was a part of an effort to “enhance their missile manufacturing (to) 600%.” The Twitter thread had feedback saying Ukraine retained a big inventory of those missiles after the United Soviet Socialists Republics (USSR) dissolution.
Speaking concerning the Pechora/Newa’s reported repurposing, Tyagi stated, “anti-ship is definitely attainable,” however he wasn’t positive how one may use it to hit land targets. This may be attainable as a result of anti-ship and air protection missiles have comparable seekers like radio frequency (RF), infrared (IR), and radar seekers.
Plane and warships have engines, radars, and communication programs that emanate warmth and radio waves that these seekers lock on to. Tyagi stated it’s attainable to alter the pinnacle to an RF seeker for land targets like air protection radar stations.
Land assault/air-to-ground missiles additionally produce other programs like a CCD digicam, electro-optics (EO), terrain mapping, and in keeping with Tyagi, often satellite tv for pc navigation/GPS steerage and picture referencing to trace and determine targets.
Nevertheless, the declare stays a social media put up, and it couldn’t be confirmed if the S-125s have been being repurposed for anti-ship and land-attack roles. A tweet on November 10 by @Noelreports posted two pictures of the S-125 Pechora mounted on a truck, saying they have been “someplace on the Black Beach.”
This someplace lends credence to the declare as Ukraine can use them to hit Russian Navy ships firing Kalibr cruise missiles into Ukraine. “Ukraine is armed with two divisions (8 launchers),” the tweet stated.
Retired Canberra and MiG-25 pilot Group Captain Johnson Chacko referred to as the Pechora a “potent weapon within the arms of a well-trained crew. It has a restricted vary, but when there are ships inside that vary, they are often focused,” he added.
Stealth Killer S-125
The US Air Pressure F-117A Nighthawk, piloted by Lieutenant Colonel Darrell Patrick ‘Dale’ Zelko, was shot down by Yugoslav forces on March 27, 1999.
Zelko, who ejected from the plane, was rescued in a tense operation, hiding in a drain whereas minutes away from being captured.
The Yugoslav model of the S-125 Neva (NATO reporting identify SA-3 Goa) was fired by the 250th Air Protection Missile Brigade of the Military of Yugoslavia below the command of then Lt Col Zoltan Dani.
Dani later revealed how he shot down the Nighthawk in an interview with the Related Press (AP) in October 2005, saying his major concern was the US Excessive-Anti Radiation Missile (HARM) used for Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) operations.
This compelled him to make use of human spotters and landlines for communication, continually change places and never change on his radars for quite a lot of minutes.
Refusing to reveal the precise nature of the modifications the Yugoslavs made to the Sixties missile’s warhead and steerage system, Zoltan stated he had begun to check stealth expertise a lot earlier than the battle.
“I concluded there are not any invisible plane, however solely much less seen,” he stated. “Regardless of NATO’s near-total air supremacy, the alliance by no means succeeded in knocking out Dani’s batteries,” the report from USA At the moment famous.
In early April, a Russian Sukhoi Su-35 was shot down close to Kharkiv, with many social media feedback crediting the S-125 for the success. The system’s solely disadvantage is its lack of mobility, which Chacko explains is “transportable solely after dismantling.”
EurAsian Times had talked about in an earlier report how the missiles have been upgraded to the S-125-2D Pechora customary, which elevated their vary to 40 kilometers.