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Modernized Russian OSA 9K33 SA-8 missile system is effective against Ukraine army drones

According to a video published by the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) on October 5, 2022, the modernized version of the OSA 9K33, NATO code-named SA-8 Gecko mobile air defense missile system deployed by the Russian army in Ukraine continues to be efficient against Ukrainian aircraft, helicopters, and drones including Bayraktar UAVs.
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The modernized version of the Russian OSA 9K33 Sa-8 Gecko is deployed in Ukraine to counter drones including Bayraktar UAVs. (Picture source Russian MoD video footage)

Citing information from the Russian Ministry of Defense, the OSA 9K33 (NATO code SA-8 Gecko) mobile air defense missile system is used to protect motorized rifle units and has already destroyed more than hundred Ukrainian drones including popular Turkish-made Bayraktar UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Systems).

In the Russian army, the OSA 9K33 is used at the front line. Currently, the air defense missile system is deployed in the Donbas region and controls the airspace 24 hours a day to protect Russian troops and cities against Ukrainian armed forces' air strikes.

The 9K33 OSA, NATO code-named SA-8 Gecko is a Russian-made mobile short-range air defense missile system developed in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and that entered into service with the Russian army in 1972. It was constantly improved during its lifetime, resulting in the OSA-AK, and OSA-AKM variants for the ground forces, and the OSA-MA and OSA-MA2 versions for the naval forces.

The OSA 9K33 is armed with 6 missiles ready to fire, mounted on the roof of the vehicle. The missile is tracked by a radio-command guiding system. The latest version of the OSA 9K33 has one target and two missile channels, meaning that it can track one target, and guide two missiles onto it. It can fire the 9M33M3 missile which is able to destroy aerial targets at an altitude from 10 to 12,000 m with a range of up to 15 km. The missile has a length of 3.158 m, a weight of 126 kg, and uses command guidance. There is also a backup low-light optical tracking system for heavy ECM environments.

The SA-8 Gecko is based on a six-wheeled design designated BAZ-5937. It is based on a number of earlier six-wheeled all-terrain vehicles developed by VA Grachev's design team at the Likhachev Automobile Plant in Moscow. it is motorized with a 5D20 B-300 diesel engine developing 300 hp at 2,000 rpm and one gas turbine which is used as an auxiliary power unit. The vehicle can run at a maximum road speed of 80 km with a maximum cruising range of 500 km. The 9K33 OSA is also fully amphibious and propelled in the water at a maximum speed 8 km/h thanks to two water jets mounted at the rear of the hull.

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