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Ukrainian Forces Destroy First Russian S-400 5P85TE2 Missile Launcher Near Yevpatoriya

According to information published on the Twitter account of "OSINTtechnical" on September 14, 2023, the Ukrainian forces have destroyed for the first time, a Russian 5P85TE2, Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL), part of a S-400 air defense missile system. The system was hit by Ukrainian drones early on September 14, 2023, outside of Yevpatoriya.
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Ukrainian forces destroyed for the first time a Russian 5P85TE2 TEL Transporter Erector missile Launcher truck of S-400 air defense battery. (Picture source OSINTtechnical)

In a strategic move to counter Russian military dominance, Ukraine has ramped up its drone campaign with the primary objective of exhausting Russia's air defense missile systems. This initiative, as revealed by Lieutenant-General Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine's head of military intelligence, aims not only to incapacitate Russian bombers but also to inflict damage on their military production facilities.

Budanov, in a recent interview with The Economist, emphasized the pivotal role of drones in the ongoing conflict. "Drones will definitely make the operations to liberate our territories easier. Drones have no fear. You don't feel sorry for them," he remarked. This statement underscores Ukraine's commitment to leveraging technology in its defense strategy.

One of the most notable achievements in this campaign has been Ukraine's success in targeting Russia's formidable S-400 air-defense systems in Crimea. Utilizing modified Neptune anti-ship missiles, reconfigured for land-attack missions, Ukrainian forces managed to destroy an S-400 Triumf near Olenivka in western Crimea. Another S-400 system was reportedly neutralized in Yevpatoriya, also located in the western part of Crimea, in a combined attack involving cruise missiles and drones.

The 5P85TE2 is a transporter erector launcher (TEL) integral to the Russian S-400 Triumf air defense missile system. Designed to transport, erect, and launch the system's missiles, the 5P85TE2 enhances the S-400's operational capabilities by ensuring rapid deployment and relocation. This mobility makes it challenging for adversaries to target the system.

Equipped with four launch tubes, the TEL can hold and fire several missiles consecutively without immediate reloading. This feature, combined with the S-400's ability to defend against a diverse range of aerial threats such as aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles, underscores the 5P85TE2's pivotal role in Russia's air defense strategy. Furthermore, the global significance of the S-400 system, which has been exported to various countries, is amplified by components like the 5P85TE2.

The 5P85TE2 transporter erector launcher, associated with the Russian S-400 Triumf air defense system, is capable of launching several types of missiles. Among these are the 40N6 with a firing range of up to 400 kilometers, the 48N6 with a range of 250 kilometers, the 9M96E2 with a range of 120 kilometers, and the 9M96E with a range of 40 kilometers. Each missile is designed to intercept and neutralize different types of aerial threats, from aircraft and drones to ballistic missiles, ensuring comprehensive air defense coverage.

Ukrainian Forces destroy first Russian S 400 5P85TE2 Missile Launcher Near Yevpatoriya 925 002
Russian 5P85TE2 TEL Transporter Erector missile Launcher truck of S-400 air defense battery. (Picture source Vitaly Kuzmin)

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