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UK intel: Replacing SAM systems lost in Ukraine may weaken Russia’s broader air defenses

The Russian air defense’s recent loss of four SAM launchers in Ukraine highlights the inadequacies of Russia’s Integrated Air Defense System and puts a strain on its remaining systems, according to British intelligence.
UK intel: Replacing SAM systems lost in Ukraine may weaken Russia’s broader air defenses

The UK Defense Ministry’s November 2 intelligence update indicates that Ukrainian strikes likely took out four Russian long-range Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launchers, which exposes vulnerabilities in Russia’s air defense, heavily relying on advanced long-range SAM systems.

The ministry tweeted:

  • Russia has likely lost at least four long range Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launchers to Ukrainian strikes over the last week. On 26 October 2023, Russian media reported that three Russian SA-21 launchers (a system better known by its Russian name, the S-400 Triumf, – Ed.) had been destroyed in the Luhansk region. Ukrainian sources reported additional Russian air defence losses in Crimea.
  • Russia has long prioritised ample, high-tech, long range SAM systems as a key component of its military strategy.
  • The recent losses highlight that Russia’s Integrated Air Defence System continues to struggle against modern precision strike weapons and will highly likely increase the already significant strain on remaining systems and operators. There is a realistic possibility that as Russia replaces the destroyed systems in Ukraine it will weaken its air defences in other operational areas.

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