PROSPECTS FOR BUK-M1-2 AIR DEFENSE MISSILE SYSTEM
The rapid development of electronic and
optronic reconnaissance systems, battle-management and high-precision weapon control
systems, as well as electronic countermeasures and other systems has resulted in the
concentration of large amounts of electronic and optronic systems in troops which often
duplicate one another and affect electromagnetic compatibility considerably increasing the
cost of a force grouping. This is why it is expedient to consider the possibility of
broadening the scope of tasks fulfilled by offensive or defensive armaments.
By way of example one can take the modernization of the Buk-M1-2
air defense medium-range missile system, carried out by the Instrument-Making Research
Institute within a short period of time. As a result of the modernization, an antiaircraft
system has acquired properties of an antimissile system capable of destroying tactical
ballistic missiles, air-launched missiles and bombs, and antiradar missiles. Buk-M1-2 can
destroy naval ships out to a range of about 25 kilometers and land-based radio-contrast
targets, including large command posts, tactical ballistic missile control posts, aircraft
on airfields, bridges and other facilities. Fig.1 shows the systems engagement
envelope for various types of targets.
Thus, the medium-range antiaircraft missile system has
turned into a reconnaissance and defensive system. However, in our view, the capabilities
of Buk-M1-2 have not yet been fully tapped and can further be expanded within a short
period of time at customer request.
As Buk-M1-2 is a highly mobile system featuring
remarkable combat capabilities in action against a wide range of targets flying at various
ranges and altitudes, it is most suited for shielding front-line aviation airfields,
including those using highways.
Should the systems command post be upgraded
appropriately, its capabilities in detecting air targets and determining their coordinates
with high accuracy would be enhanced materially allowing the system to be used, in
addition to its dedicated application, for the flight control and fighter aircraft
direction until the arrival and installation of basic flight control facilities. Usually,
aircraft flight control involves plenty of various equipment, above all radars,
characterized by low mobility.
Studies conducted at NIIP have revealed the possibility
of using the Buk-M1-2 system to establish coordinates of enemy artillery and tactical
ballistic missile positions by extending flight trajectories of projectiles (mortar
shells) and missiles calculated by the system.
The above capabilities can also be broadened via
upgrading only its software.
Air situation data collection, especially under
electronic countermeasures, requires the use of all radar facilities supplied by air
defense missile systems and radar data processing points located at a superior command
post, which impairs emanations security. It is known that the jamming signals not only
reduce radar operating range but also distort the data generated by it. The Vega radar
system built on the basis of the Orion passive radar is capable of generating the target
designation data and transmitting it to an ADM system command post, identifying the type
or class of major piloted air threats while keeping radio silence. Data exchanges between
Vega and Buk-M1-2 will not require any serious updates of Buks command post.
The efficiency of the Buk-M1-2 system in defeating naval
ships and land-based radio-contrast targets was confirmed by missile launches at a mine
sweeper and at a Tupolev Tu-16 aircraft and tactical ballistic missile launchers. The
systems killing range depends not only on its characteristics but also on the type
and location of a target and on the location of the system itself.
For example, large vertical dimensions of ships
(superstructures, hull height, etc.) and the elevation of the coastline above sea level by
10 to 30 or more meters, make it possible to move the radio horizon 25 to 30 kilometers
farther in the surface surveillance mode and destroy ships at a distance of up to 25
kilometers. At the same time, a surface ship carries armaments, including cruise missiles,
ballistic missiles and other kinds of offensive weapons, which can be destroyed by the
systems missiles. These weapons can be engaged by Buk in self-defense or when they
are used against friendly troops and military installations.
Such air-launched missiles and guided aerial bombs as
Maverick and Walleye can be engaged both in self-defense and when used against friendly
forces. Antiradiation missiles are normally engaged in self-defense or when used against
other friendly air defense missile systems (various sensors or other systems engaging
other targets at the moment).
Compared to surface targets, ground targets are more
difficult to destroy mainly due to the diffuse reflections from the flat underlying
surface (fields, the steppe, meadows and so on), and powerful reflections from local
structures and objects (houses, hills, remains of combat materiel and armaments on the
battlefield) which themselves are radio-contrast targets, i.e. a source of powerful
interference that requires updating missile guidance algorithms.
BUK-M1-2 SAM SYSTEM: KILL IS INEVITABLE
Effective air defense can be built only if an air defense
grouping includes various systems in terms of their assignment, characteristics and
organic identity. As a rule, these are close-in, short, medium and long range systems,
with surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems being the mainstay of such a grouping.
The first highly mobile Russian SAM system of this class
was the famous Kub (Kvadrat) system developed by the Tikhomirov Instrument-Making Research
Institute in the 1960s. Its fate was lucky. It repeatedly confirmed its high effectiveness
in real combat conditions, i.e., in military conflicts of various intensity. In the 1970s
and 1980s, the Instrument-Making Research Institute developed the Buk SAM system and its
version - the Buk-M1. In 1998 it completed the next modernization of this system by
developing the Buk-M1-2. (Leading developer of the Kub and Buk SAM systems has been the
Ulyanovsk Mechanical Plant.) This system is a multipurpose firing asset. Beside air
targets, it is capable of engaging overland and waterborne radar and TV contrast pinpoint
targets. In addition, its engagement zone was expanded, jamming immunity increased, and
the engagement of tactical ballistic missiles was ensured.
With a considerable engagement envelope in slant range,
altitude and horizontal range, the unique feature of the Buk system and all its versions
is that a combat mission can be executed by an individual firing unit the
self-propelled mount (SPM). This quality ensures the surprise of air target engagement
from ambushes and the independent change of firing positions, which substantially
increases the SPM survivability.
The SPM is essentially a tracked chassis that carries a
radar and a launcher with four missiles. The arrangement of the radar and the missile
launcher on one rigid platform allows their simultaneous laying in azimuth and elevation
with the aid of an electrohydraulic drive. The 9A310M1-2 SPM also comprises a digital
computer system, a TV optical sight, a laser range finder, navigation and communications
equipment, an IFF interrogator, a built-in simulator and documentation equipment.
During combat operation, the SPM detects a target,
determines its IFF status, automatically tracks the target and identifies its type,
computes the flight mission and launch assignment, launches a missile, transmits radio
correction commands to the missile and evaluates the firing results.
The SPM can engage targets as part of an air defense
missile complex with target designation data transmitted from the command post or
independently within an assigned sector of responsibility. Targets can be engaged by
missiles launched from the SPM or from an attached loader-launcher (LL).
The 9A310M1-2 SPM can fire standard 9M38M1 missiles or
new 9M317 missiles (developed by the Dolgoprudny Research and Production Enterprise).
The concealment of SPM operation has been improved owing
to the introduction of a laser range finder which together with the TV optical sight
ensures passive direction finding of overland and waterborne targets.
The modified software of the digital computer system
ensures the optimal angles of missile flight to a target, thereby minimizing the effect of
the underlying surface on the missile homing head.
To increase the effectiveness of the missile warhead in
engaging waterborne (overland) targets, the radio fuze is disconnected and the contact
fuze is connected instead.
A new operating mode, the 'coordinate support,' is
introduced to improve the jamming immunity of the system. In this mode, use is made of
range coordinates obtained from other assets of the system to engage an active jammer. So,
the number of channels for firing at an active jammer is increased twofold, compared to
the previously used triangulation mode which required the employment of two SPMs.
The 9A310M1-2 SPM is interfaced with the assets of the
Kub system (known abroad as Kvadrat, or SA-6). In this case the Kub can simultaneously
engage two targets instead of one. One engagement channel comprises the 9A310M1-2 SPM with
the attached 2P25 self-propelled launcher, while the other channel is organic, including
the 1S91 acquisition and guidance radar with attached 2P25 self-propelled launchers.
The characteristics of the 9A310M1-2 SPM are presented in
In recent years, the Instrument-Making Research Institute and
partner companies successfully carried out research and development to further upgrade the
air defense missile system as a whole and its individual elements.
The main features of SPM modernization include:
- increased number of simultaneously engaged targets
owing to the use of a phased array antenna;
- enhanced jamming immunity due to the adaptation of the
phased array antenna beam to tactical and ECM environments;
- augmented radar effectiveness by increasing the
transmitter output power and the sensitivity of the SHF receiver (new electronic device);
- employment of high-speed computers and modern digital
The modernized SPM with the phased array antenna can be
interfaced with the Buk-M1-2 equipment; as a result, the number of simultaneously engaged
targets can be increased from 6 to 10, and even 12.
9M317 MISSILE: THE ULTIMATE PERFORMER
The continuous development of air attack weapons demands
a thorough upgrading of surface-to-air missiles. Considering the fact that modern air
defense missile systems must engage not only aerodynamic targets (fixed- and rotary-wing
aircraft as well as cruise missiles) but also tactical ballistic missiles and
precision-guided munitions, the Buk-M1 SAM system has been modernized by introducing a new
missile, the 9M317, which was developed by the Dolgoprudny Research and Production
The creation of the Buk-M1-2 SAM system made it possible
to substantially improve its performance characteristics and the system potential in order
to fight advanced targets.
The 9M317 SAM was developed as a unified weapon for the
air defense protection of ground forces and naval ships. It can engage tactical ballistic
missiles, strategic and tactical aircraft (including those maneuvering with a load factor
of up to 12 g), cruise missiles, attack helicopters (including those hovering at low
altitudes), remotely piloted vehicles and antiship missiles in heavy ECM environments, as
well as radar contrast waterborne and overland targets.
The 9M317 missile, compared to the 9M38M1 missile
incorporated into the Buk-M1 system, has an extended engagement envelope of up to 45 km in
slant range and up to 25 km in altitude and horizontal range, as well as a broader range
of targets which can be engaged.
The missile design makes it possible to adapt the
guidance system and armament of the missile to the type of target (ballistic target,
aerodynamic target, helicopter, pinpoint target, waterborne/overland target) after it has
been identified and to increase the kill probability. The design of the missile onboard
equipment and system facilities enables firing at radar contrast waterborne and overland
targets and their direct hit defeat. This missile can engage targets flying at extremely
The generalized cost-effectiveness ratio indicates that
in this respect the 9M317 missile is absolutely unrivaled in the world and wonÕt be
outperformed by competitor models until the end of the first decade of the next century.
The relative coefficients of weight perfection,
power-to-weight ratio and payload attained during missile development has made it possible
to acknowledge the design execution of the 9M317 SAM as a basic standard whose comparison
with other items will help estimate the level of technical progress.
The completely assembled and armed missile is
explosion-proof and does not require checks and adjustments within its entire service
The missile is highly reliable, and its 10-year service
life can be prolonged after going through special operations.
The high effectiveness, versatility and use potential of
the 9M317 SAM has been confirmed through rigorous field and firing exercises.