TechUkrainian partisans uncover Moscow's fortified defenses: Extensive use of S-400 systems revealed

Ukrainian partisans uncover Moscow's fortified defenses: Extensive use of S‑400 systems revealed

One of the radar stations and a multifunctional mast set up in Moscow.
One of the radar stations and a multifunctional mast set up in Moscow.
Images source: © Telegram, The translation is "FIRE".

6:27 PM EST, February 7, 2024, updated: 4:00 AM EST, March 7, 2024

Last year, proof emerged indicating that Moscow is not invincible. Multiple successful drone attacks made it clear that the city needs robust defenses. Much has been said about photographs showing Pantsir-S1 systems on the rooftops of buildings in Moscow's city center. Now there's evidence of S-400 systems being employed for similar defense purposes.

"We found 12 launchers, radar stations, and universal towers for them. These are likely S-400 Triumph air defense systems. The Russians have kept these valuable complexes deep within Moscow, despite them being critically needed at the frontlines. They are apparently used to cover strategic control points," the Atesh agents stated, attaching several photos to support their claim.

Several S-400 defense systems entrusted in Moscow

The S-400, like the aforementioned Pantsir-S1, is one of Russia's most valuable air defense systems. Developed in the 1990s, it represented a significant upgrade from the S-300PMU system. It was commissioned in 2007 and, despite being used in the war in Ukraine, Russian authorities deem it suitable for capital defense.

What are the capabilities of the S-400 system?

The S-400 is a ground-to-air system capable of intercepting aircraft and helicopters, as well as drones, and even ballistic missiles moving at a speed of 3 mi/s.

It's designed to employ several types of missiles, with ranges from 25 mi (9M96 missiles weighing approximately 772lbs) to 249 mi (40N6E missiles weighing around 3968 lbs). The distance at which a target can be engaged also depends on the type of target. For instance, in the case of ballistic missiles, the S-400’s reach does not extend beyond roughly 31 mi.

Russian officials assert that the S-400 is twice as effective as its predecessors. While hard to validate this claim, it is indeed one of their most valuable weapons of this type in practical terms.

However, it hasn't performed flawlessly in all scenarios. For instance, its effectiveness was questioned when it failed to react to incoming Israeli aircraft during clashes in Syria. It also proved ineffective in defending the airport in Belgorod (along with Pantsir S-1), which was attacked by Ukrainians in 2022. The S-400 had its most recent failure a few days ago in Ukraine.

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