According to the Defense Attaché of the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States, the Ukrainian military has found a weapon that can be considered a counter-measure of the Russian UAV, which is the “UAV killer” 9K33 Osa.
In an interview on October 7, Major General Borys Kremenetsky, Defense Attaché of the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington DC, the US confirmed that the SA-8 Gecko (9K33 Osa) air defense systems are becoming more and more popular. become the enemy of Russian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
In particular, according to the Wall Street Journal, many SA-8 Gecko missiles in the Ukrainian army have been transferred by the US to Kiev, although this complex was manufactured by the Soviet Union.
Accordingly, many SA-8 Gecko systems have been sent to Ukraine by the US since March 2022.
The systems are believed to come from foreign arsenals that military units and the US intelligence community have collected in various ways over the years for intelligence training and analysis purposes.
9K33 Osa (The Wasp) is a low-altitude mobile surface-to-air missile system developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, NATO calling it the SA-8 Gecko.
Development work on the 9K33 Osa began in 1960 as a counterweight to the American SAM Mauler system.
This air defense complex was officially accepted into service with Soviet motorized infantry units in 1971 and has been exported to 19 countries.
9K33 Osa is the first Soviet anti-aircraft missile system that integrates a guided radar on a self-propelled launcher (TELAR), creating very high mobility when it can both detect, track and fire missiles. against helicopters as well as aircraft in all weather conditions.
The initial production version of the Osa carried four 9M33 missiles with a maximum range of 10 km and a flight ceiling of 5 km.
The upgraded variant Osa AKM carries 6 9M33M3 missiles and increases the range to 15 km, a maximum operating altitude of 12 km.
The 9M33M3 interceptor missile has a length of 3,158 mm; a body diameter of 209.6 mm; a weight of 170 kg; carrying a 16 kg near-target explosive.
The rocket reaches a speed of 1,020 m/s; the probability of destroying the target is 35 – 85% depending on the altitude, the disadvantage of Osa is that it cannot shoot while moving.
Each self-propelled launcher of 9K33 Osa operates independently, its reconnaissance radar detects targets from a range of 30-40 km, tracks within 20 km, and can search while moving.
Next to the main radar, there are 2 fire control radars, so the combination can guide 2 missiles at the same time, moreover, these 2 missiles are guided on 2 different frequencies to make it more difficult for the enemy opponent’s coercion.
9K33 Osa can also receive support from regimental-level radar systems such as P-40 Long Track, P-15 Flat Face, or PRV-16 Thin Skin…
The reaction time from detecting the target until the missile is launched is 26 seconds.
9K33 Osa’s TELAR 9A33 uses a BAZ-5937 6×6 amphibious vehicle chassis with a crew of 5, is lightly armored, and is capable of preventing weapons of mass destruction. Time to change from standstill to march within 4 minutes.
Basic specifications of the vehicle with a length of 9.1 m; a width of 2.78 m; a weight of 18 tons. The vehicle is equipped with a 300 hp 2D20B turbocharged diesel engine for a maximum travel speed of 80 km / h on the road, 8 km / h when swimming, a range of 500 km, overcoming obstacles 0.5 m high, and cross trench 1.2 m wide.
Components of a 9K33 Osa anti-aircraft missile battery include 4 combat vehicles and 2 loader trucks carrying 18 missiles in containers and cranes. The process of reloading 6 rockets for the TELAR 9A33 vehicle takes 5 minutes.
The entire 9K33 Osa complex can be easily transported by Il-76 military transport aircraft.
Until now, 9K33 Osa is still considered one of the most dangerous close-range interceptor systems in the world.