Ukraine’s Pechora-2D air defense complex can pose a great risk to Russian fighters when they are launched into battle.
Currently, the main force of the fire network protecting the sky over Ukraine is the Buk-M1 systems, but due to the sharp decrease in ammunition reserves after 7 months of fighting when the aid has not yet compensated for the consumption, the defense complexes no Pechora-2D is probably on the way.
In the past few years, in addition to actively re-commissioning mobile missile systems such as Buk-M1, S-300PS/V1M…, Ukraine also believes in S-125 Pechora-2D complexes, the role of they are now as strategic reserve forces.
The S-125 Pechora (this is the export name, the domestic version is called Neva) is a short-range air defense system that has been in service since 1961. The first variants were capable of hitting a target in flight. at speeds up to 560 m/s using two rockets.
After the Neva was modernized several times, more than 400 complexes under the name Pechora were exported by the Soviet Union to many allied countries. Despite its age, this is a fairly effective air defense system.
The Russian version of the Pechora-2M can even be used against cruise missiles. In 2001, Poland modified its own Neva SC. About 10 years ago, the Pechora-2D that we are talking about was tested in Ukraine.
After modernization, the tactical technical characteristics of the weapon have been significantly improved. In 2018, at the training ground in the Kherson region, a test firing of the upgraded 5V27D-M1 missile of the complex took place.
The Ukrainian air defense has received up to 5 battalions of S-125 Pechora-2D, which are deployed to protect nuclear power plants and some key infrastructure in the Dnipro River region.
In addition, Ukraine also intends to launch a self-propelled version of the Pechora-2D, but for various reasons, the ambition has not been implemented and the missile still has to use a fixed launcher.
Of course, although its tactical features are significantly inferior to Buk-M1 or S-300PS, Pechora-2D is commented by many military experts inside and outside Ukraine that it is still capable of completing its mission.
It should be emphasized that the S-125 threatened the Israeli Air Force’s F-16I Sufa, shot down the F-117A Night Hawk stealth bomber over Yugoslavia, as well as the MQ-1 Predator UAV and cruise missiles. in Syria.
The Ukrainian Pechora-2D is capable of operating at a range of up to 40 km, and this indicator can be further increased through the use of modern imported electronics. In other words, it is a reliable and inexpensive platform that can be further upgraded.
In terms of Ukraine, the weapon is considered a quick and economical option to strengthen defenses in the condition that the supply of Buk-M1 or NASAMS and IRIS-T has not yet fully met the demand.
If in the near future, Ukraine’s Pechora-2D complexes enter the war, then Russian aircraft will face a new and equally dangerous threat compared to the Buk-M1 or S-300 that they encountered from the beginning of the war.
However, Ukraine’s S-125 Pechora-2D also has a major weakness, which is the lack of maneuverability due to the use of fixed launchers, so it can become an ideal target for missile attacks. cruise missiles or Russian suicide UAVs.
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It shut down F-16 and heavy damaged at least one more F-117 over Yugoslavia in 1999.