Black Sea Fleet to receive Tor-M2 air defense system

The latest Tor-M2 missiles capable of downing drones, cruise missiles and smart bombs will be deployed in Crimea. They will be supplied to the 1096th antiaircraft regiment of the Black Sea fleet to defend the main naval base. It was earlier planned to rearm the regiment with Buk-M2, but the Syrian experience showed Tor-M2 is more effective against precision weapons, the Izvestia daily writes. The Russian Navy told the newspaper the decision on Tor-M2 deployment in Crimea had been made in principle. The weapon will be deployed in Sevastopol.

Black Sea Fleet to receive Tor M2 missile air defense system
Tor-M2 air defense system (Picture source: Army Recognition)

It was reported in 2017 that the 1096th regiment would be armed with Buk-M2 and Buk-M3. However, the plans were changed due to the Syrian experience. The regiment will be armed with Tor-M2.

The 1096th regiment was created in 1946 and operated within the 126th motorized infantry division of the Soviet army for a long time. It was handed over to the Black Sea fleet before the division was disbanded in 1989. The regiment was deployed in Mezhgorye in the Crimean Mountains. In 1995, it was redeployed to Sevastopol to defend the headquarters, warships, vessels and submarines of the Black Sea fleet and was the only Russian air defense unit in Crimea. The regiment was disbanded in 2012 and the remaining missile batteries were handed over to the 810th marine brigade. The regiment was revived after Crimea reunited with Russia.

The 1096th regiment is armed with Osa antiaircraft missiles which were accepted into service yet in the 1970s. Experts say it is a tested weapon which needs a replacement.

Tor-M2 excellently performed in Syria and provided air defense to Humaymim airbase, expert Viktor Murakhovsky said. "Tor-M2 is a close combat complex which can effectively fight precision weapons. A Tor regiment can fight a big number of targets. The Syrian combat showed that Tor-M2 effectively destroyed cruise missiles and multiple-launch rockets, as well as loitering munitions and drones. The launchers can engage in combat immediately. Previously, an air defense regiment or battalion had to stop for a short time, open fire and then continue moving," he said. Tor was initially designed to defend troops on the march, but its operation showed the weapon can reliably protect a strategically important area, Murakhovsky said.

The new 9M338K missile allows Tor to defend at a range of 20 km. It can simultaneously fire at four targets while the first Tor variant could attack only one. The new Tor operates by one target - one missile principle. It can fight all available cruise missiles and smart gliding bombs GBU-39 and GBU-40 or SDB-I and SDB-II which were actively engaged in Syria and Afghanistan. They are considered more difficult targets than low-flying missiles as the release distance can reach 110 km. It is possible to pierce their thick hull only by a direct hit or at a nearby explosion.

Crimea already has a single integrated automatic control system with artificial intellect elements. It currently comprises the firepower of antiaircraft missile units, warships, and air defense of motorized infantry formations. All air force and defense units deployed in the peninsula are fully armed with the latest weapons, including S-400 Triumph and Pantsir-S missile guns, the Izvestia said.

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