TechUkraine's special forces take out fourth Russian Buk missile system

Ukraine's special forces take out fourth Russian Buk missile system

Destroyed Buk
Destroyed Buk
Images source: © Facebook | Dowództwo Sił Operacji Specjalnych Sił Zbrojnych Ukrainy

12:23 PM EDT, May 22, 2024

Operators of the 3rd Independent Regiment of Special Operations Forces of Ukraine have announced the destruction of another piece of Russian equipment. This marks the fourth 9K37 Buk surface-to-air guided missile system eliminated within three weeks. Let’s review its capabilities.

As Defense Express notes, the Russian Federation army has lost three Buk systems in recent weeks, all destroyed around late April and early May. Now, the Ukrainians add another machine of this type to the list of losses. Four destroyed Buks represent – as we read – half of a battalion of these vehicles.

This series of four destroyed Buks is not the only loss since the beginning of the war. Ukrainians regularly target this equipment due to its effectiveness and purpose – Buk was created as an anti-aircraft system. Therefore, evidence has surfaced in recent months confirming the destruction of these systems. Now, however, the hunt for Buks has intensified. The latest attack was executed using a kamikaze drone.

Buk medium-range anti-aircraft system

The 9K37 Buk is a surface-to-air guided missile system developed in the late 1970s. The weapon was indeed constructed in 1979 to replace the aging 2K12 Kub system from the previous decade.

The designers of the 9K37 Buk aimed to create a weapon capable of intercepting difficult targets, including airplanes, helicopters, and cruise missiles. Ensuring resistance to interference was also crucial.

The 9K37 system missile measures 18 feet in length and weighs nearly 1545 pounds, with the warhead alone weighing 154 pounds. Effective guidance of the missile to its target is achieved through semi-active radar homing, allowing for a probability of target destruction of up to 90% for airplanes and about 40% for cruise missiles.

Based on the standard 9K37 Buk system, several additional versions of this weapon have been created. These include the naval variant 3K90 M-22 Uragan found aboard various Russian destroyers of Project 956 (ships built since the 1980s). The newest version of the Buk is the 9K317M Buk-M3 variant, which is equipped with six missiles with a range of up to 43 miles (about double compared to the basic version). The specifications of this weapon are not precisely known, though it has been in service since at least 2016.

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