Buk-M1 Air Defense Engages Stormshadow Cruise Missile

Russian footage which claims to show a Buk-M1 air defense system intercepting a Stormshadow cruise missile, somewhere in southern Donetsk. The crew is shown operating the system, and then the camera perspective shifts to show the air defense missile launching and intercepting the incoming cruise missile. The legitimacy of this video has not been verified.


The Buk-M1, a successor of the SA-6, is an intermediate air defense system filling a niche between the S-200/300/400 systems and point defense systems such as Tor and Pantsir. Developed by the Soviet Union and produced by the Russian Federation, the system is intended to counter cruise missiles, smart munitions, fixed and rotary wing aircraft, and unmanned arial systems. A Buk-M1 battery includes two transporter erector launcher and radar (TELAR) vehicles with four missiles each and a single transporter erector launcher (TEL) with six missiles, for a total of fourteen missiles in a battery. The system is engaging Stromshadow, missile, an air-launched stealth missile with a range of over 500 kilometers. Stromshadow was provided to Ukraine by the United Kingdom, and while the system has had some success, some of the missiles were intercepted by Russian air defenses before reaching their targets.


If genuine, this footage demonstrates a significant Russian capability with which Ukraine must content. This skepticism is the result of previous videos released by Russian sources which have proved to be contrived, as in the case of the footage of Ka-52 helicopters which were supposedly engaging Leopard II tanks, and instead were shooting John Deere harvesters. With that said, Russian air defenses have proved a challenge for Ukrainian aviation. Not only do they threaten the limited number of Ukrainian fixed and rotary wing platforms, but they have also limited Ukraine’s ability to engage targets deep behind the forward line of troops.


This footage demonstrates one of the reasons that Ukraine is desperate to acquire a platform such as the F-16. Engaging deep targets is central to Ukraine’s strategy for shattering Russian defenses and driving them from Crimea, and they are keen to enhance this capability. Crimea is heavily fortified by occupying Russian troops, and attempting to dislodge them through conventional means would stretch Ukraine’s resources to the limit. Their strategy for liberating Crimea depends on isolating the peninsula and denying the occupiers reinforcement and resupply, and to this end have attacked targets such as the Kerch Strait Bridge with cruise missiles and air and naval drones and have threatened Russian naval and civilian shipping operating near Crimea, but success has been limited and Russian air defenses have proved resilient. F-16s will provide Ukraine with a platform for delivering HARM anti-radiation missiles which can neutralize Russian air defenses, and air-to ground munitions such as JASSM which can augment Stromshadow and deliver deep shaping fires.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Cam

Cam served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, deploying to the Horn of Africa and participating in combat operations in Iraq. He currently works in the maritime industry and in the defense sector as an instructor of combined arms planning and operations. An avid sailor, Cam founded and directs a nonprofit that supports veterans and first responders through sailing.

Published 6 months ago

Russian footage which claims to show a Buk-M1 air defense system intercepting a Stormshadow cruise missile, somewhere in southern Donetsk. The crew is shown operating the system, and then the camera perspective shifts to show the air defense missile launching and intercepting the incoming cruise missile. The legitimacy of this video has not been verified.


The Buk-M1, a successor of the SA-6, is an intermediate air defense system filling a niche between the S-200/300/400 systems and point defense systems such as Tor and Pantsir. Developed by the Soviet Union and produced by the Russian Federation, the system is intended to counter cruise missiles, smart munitions, fixed and rotary wing aircraft, and unmanned arial systems. A Buk-M1 battery includes two transporter erector launcher and radar (TELAR) vehicles with four missiles each and a single transporter erector launcher (TEL) with six missiles, for a total of fourteen missiles in a battery. The system is engaging Stromshadow, missile, an air-launched stealth missile with a range of over 500 kilometers. Stromshadow was provided to Ukraine by the United Kingdom, and while the system has had some success, some of the missiles were intercepted by Russian air defenses before reaching their targets.


If genuine, this footage demonstrates a significant Russian capability with which Ukraine must content. This skepticism is the result of previous videos released by Russian sources which have proved to be contrived, as in the case of the footage of Ka-52 helicopters which were supposedly engaging Leopard II tanks, and instead were shooting John Deere harvesters. With that said, Russian air defenses have proved a challenge for Ukrainian aviation. Not only do they threaten the limited number of Ukrainian fixed and rotary wing platforms, but they have also limited Ukraine’s ability to engage targets deep behind the forward line of troops.


This footage demonstrates one of the reasons that Ukraine is desperate to acquire a platform such as the F-16. Engaging deep targets is central to Ukraine’s strategy for shattering Russian defenses and driving them from Crimea, and they are keen to enhance this capability. Crimea is heavily fortified by occupying Russian troops, and attempting to dislodge them through conventional means would stretch Ukraine’s resources to the limit. Their strategy for liberating Crimea depends on isolating the peninsula and denying the occupiers reinforcement and resupply, and to this end have attacked targets such as the Kerch Strait Bridge with cruise missiles and air and naval drones and have threatened Russian naval and civilian shipping operating near Crimea, but success has been limited and Russian air defenses have proved resilient. F-16s will provide Ukraine with a platform for delivering HARM anti-radiation missiles which can neutralize Russian air defenses, and air-to ground munitions such as JASSM which can augment Stromshadow and deliver deep shaping fires.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Cam

Cam served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, deploying to the Horn of Africa and participating in combat operations in Iraq. He currently works in the maritime industry and in the defense sector as an instructor of combined arms planning and operations. An avid sailor, Cam founded and directs a nonprofit that supports veterans and first responders through sailing.

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