Belarus develops Trio SAM system against UAVs

The Belarusian defense industry is developing the Trio surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, according to the press department of the country`s State Committee for Military Industry (Goskomvoenprom, GKVP). "Belarus` Belspetsvneshtekhnika-New Technologies [BSVT-NT] will unveil the Trio SAM system at the MILEX 2019 defense show that will be held in Minsk, from May 15-18. The new weapon is primarily designed to engage small unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs]," said a spokesperson for the GKVP.

Belarus develops Trio SAM system against UAVs
ZSU-23-4 Shilka as upgraded by the Indian company Bharat Electonics (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The Trio system is designed to protect military or civil pieces of infrastructure and military units and formations against small-size aerial targets, including drones. The weapon integrates a mobile command and control (C2) post with integral reconnaissance subsystems, upgraded Strela-10 (NATO reporting name: SA-10 Gopher) self-propelled short-range air defense system, a modernized ZSU-23-4 Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) system, and Berserk unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) armed with two Gryazev-Shipunov GShG-7.62 7.62 mm rapid-fire machineguns.

The Trio system features a structure that integrates the abovementioned assets. The manufacturer says the weapon effectively destroys small-size aerial targets, including UAVs with very low visual signatures. "All the components of the Trio are mounted on tracked vehicles and therefore have high maneuverability in rugged environments," said the representative of the GKVP.

The C2 post with integral reconnaissance subsystems has automated the new weapon`s functioning. "The post features a passive optical-electronic locator that has a traverse angle of 360° and an elevation angle between -7° and +70°. It acquires target information and sends it to the combat vehicles integrated with the Trio system," said the spokesperson for the Belarusian committee.

The upgraded Strela-10 SAM system has received a round-the-clock passive optical-electronic station that detects and tracks aerial targets in passive mode at a distance of up to 20 km. It also calculates the coordinates of a target and warns an operator when an aerial vehicle approaches. "In order to engage low-size aerial platforms, including UAVs, the [Strela-10] combat vehicle has been modified to fire the upgraded R-60BM [AA-8 Aphid] air-to-air missile that can engage a target that is 30 cm long and 30 cm wide. The missile carries an infrared, thermal imaging, or laser seeker," said the representative of the GKVP.

The modernized ZSU-23-4 Shilka SPAAG has been fitted with a modern optical-electronic reconnaissance-guidance system that has replaced the organic outdated radar. The updated system detects an aerial target at a distance of up to 20 km and tracks it at a range of 16 km. "This variant of the Shilka detects and tracks low-size aerial targets at a distance of up to 7 km," said the source. Like the modernized Strela-10, the upgraded ZSU-23-4 SPAAG can engage an aerial target that is 30 cm long and 30 cm wide. "The modernization has resulted in the Shilka`s ability to destroy existing and advanced small aerial targets, including UAVs, at low and extremely low altitudes", said the source.

The Berserk UGV is armed with two machineguns that produce a rate of fire of approximately 12,000 rounds per minute. The robotic system can effectively engage a 30 cm aerial target at a distance of some 500 m. "The Trio is a relatively inexpensive system featuring high combat capacities," concluded the spokesperson for the GKVP.