TechA big event in Vietnam. They used a "Russian Patriot"

A big event in Vietnam. They used a "Russian Patriot"

Vietnamese test of the anti-aircraft and anti-missile system S-300PMU-1.
Vietnamese test of the anti-aircraft and anti-missile system S-300PMU-1.
Images source: © X (formerly Twitter) | Lee Ann Quann

9:01 AM EDT, October 20, 2023

Apparently, the first public field test of the S-300PMU-1 anti-aircraft system was conducted in Vietnam. We explain what this version is capable of and how it ended up there.

A video has appeared on Vietnamese television showing the first time an S-300PMU-1 anti-aircraft and missile defense system, acquired two decades ago, has been used on a test field. Vietnam is believed to have acquired a system of 12 launchers from Russia for 300 million dollars then.

Then these sets were modernized in 2009 with new 96L6E radars, and 3 years later Vietnam acquired a newer S-300PMU-2 complex. Now exercises have been carried out using 48H6E missiles with a range of up to 93 miles capable of shooting down targets at an altitude of 15.5 miles.

S-300PMU-1 anti-aircraft system - Russian competitor to Patriot

The S-300PMU-1 anti-aircraft systems were designed in the 90s of the 20th century as an upgrade to the S-300PMU system. As the war in Ukraine has shown, these effectively protected the Ukrainians from Russian aviation and missiles. It is also a fairly mobile system, as it can reach combat readiness in just 5 minutes.

This system allows for the detection of targets at a distance of up to 186 miles depending on the target's radar signature or altitude of its flight. Meanwhile, counteraction is possible at a distance of up to 93 miles for aircraft for 48H6E missiles. These are equipped with a fragmentation warhead weighing up to 331 pounds and are capable of flying at a maximum speed of 6562 feet/second.

It's worth noting that the S-300 family systems significantly lag behind newer systems like the Patriot with PAC-3 MSE/CRI missiles or SAMP/T because in the case of the Russian solution, the missiles only have a semi-active radar homing head. This means that the missiles are guided by waves reflected off the target, but the source is the fire control system's radar.

On the other hand, in the case of Western systems, missiles have their own radar wave emitter and, upon approaching a suitable distance, these can operate on their own without the need to engage a radar, which can guide missiles to other targets. It is also worth noting that the Russians have implemented the ability to attack ground targets in the S-300 system, although the effectiveness in this mode is not impressive.

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