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Analysis: Discover combat capabilities of Russian Buk-M3 missile system killer of Bayraktar drones

According to a video published by the Russian Ministry of Defense on its "VK" account, the Buk-M3 also nicknamed Viking, is the latest version in the Buk Medium range surface-to-air defense missile family and is now deployed in Ukraine by the Russian armed forces. The Buk-M3 is considered by Russian soldiers as the killer of the Turkish-made Bayraktar drones used by the Ukrainian army to conduct shelling against Russian tanks and command posts. In this article, discover the combat capabilities of the Russian Buk-M3 explained by the Army Recognition editorial team.
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According to Russian soldiers, the Buk-M3 air defense missile system is the killer of the Turkish-made Bayraktar drone used by the Ukrainian armed forces. (Picture source Russian MoD)

Citing information from the Russian Ministry of Defense, since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Russian air defense missile systems have destroyed a large quantity of Turkish-made Bayraktar UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) operated by the Ukrainian armed forces. Russian soldiers said that the Bayraktar drone is an easy target for Russian anti-aircraft missile systems such as Tor-M2, Pantsir and Buk-M3 due to their relatively large size, low speed, and poor maneuverability.

The Buk M3 also nicknamed Viking is the latest generation of Russian medium-range air defense missile system. It uses a new missile and has advanced electronic components. It has much improved capabilities compared with the older Buk systems. It outperforms even the old S-300P long-range air defense system.

A single Buk-M3 complex (including several launch vehicles) is capable of engaging up to 36 different targets simultaneously from any angle, while a single fire-control radar is capable of supporting the engagement of up to 6 different targets simultaneously within a sector 120° in azimuth and 85° in elevation.

A Buk-M3 Viking missile battery consists of two TELAR 9A317M (Transporter Erector LAuncher and Radar) and one TEL 9A316M (Transporter Erector Launcher) vehicle. The TELAR is based on the GM-569 tracked armored chassis, and carries six ready-to-fire missiles mounted on a turntable that can traverse a full 360°.

The turret of the Buk-M3 TELAR includes fire control radar at the front and a launcher with six ready-to-fire missiles on top. It can fire the new 9R31M missile radar-guided surface-to-air missile (SAM) with increased range and enhanced overall performance compared with the 9M38 used on the Buk-M1 and Buk-M2.

The Buk-3M’s target-destruction probability has reached 0.9999 and its maximum destruction range has been increased by 25 kilometers and now stands at 70 kilometers. The Buk-M3 is able to destroy any type of air target from a range of 2.5 to 70 km, with a speed of 3,000 m/s at an altitude from 15 m to 35 km. The Buk-M3 missile has been optimized for the interception of low-flying cruise missiles but can also engage ground and sea targets.

The Buk-M3 Viking missile system is mounted on a tracked armored chassis GM-569A as the Buk-M2. The Buk-M3 armored vehicle is motorized with a V-46 multi-fuel diesel engine developing 710 hp at the maximum speed of 2.000 rpm. The vehicle can run at a maximum speed of 70 Km/h with a maximum road range of 500 km.

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