Ukraine's air defense system: photo, specifications, video
Ukraine's air defense system: photo, specifications, video

After the collapse of the USSR, a powerful group of air defense and air force forces remained in Ukraine. By the time of the official formation of the Ukrainian Air Force, what happened in 1992, there was one air defense army and four air armies, 49 air regiments, 10 aviation divisions, 11 separate squadrons on its territory. A total of approximately 600 military units that had more than 2800 aircraft for various purposes. Military aviation of Ukraine in terms of quantity 1992, being the most numerous in the whole of Europe, was second only to aviation of the United States, China and Russia. Ukraine got sixteen fighter air regiments that were part of the air defense and air forces of the USSR, which were armed with: Su-15TM, MiG-23ML / MLD and MiG-25PD / PDS were deposited or decommissioned.


The highest value was represented by Su-27 fighter aircraft. Kiev got a total of 67 Su27. The total number of MiG-29 was 240, including 155 machines in the last modification, with an increased stock of fuel and more modern avionics.

fighter MiG-29 Ukrainian Air Force

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the number of combat aircraft that could intercept air targets, and coped with their direct tasks to gain air superiority, has declined many times. Already as of 2012 year, the fighter aircraft had 70 MiG-29 and 36 Su-27, of which 20 MiG-29 and 27 Su-27 were used.


To date, the fleet of Ukrainian fighters was in a deplorable state, but this did not prevent the Ukrainian authorities from trading in the Soviet legacy on the world arms market. In the period 2005-2012. Ukraine exported 231 military aircraft and a helicopter, of which only six aircraft were new (3,3% of the total mass), and others (96,7%) used to be in service with the weapons of Ukraine. In 2009, AN-124 delivered two Su-27 to the USA, and earlier, the Americans received several more MiG-29.


Of course, it cannot be said that Ukraine did not attempt to restore and modernize the combat capability of the fighters. The most promising in this regard was considered a heavy Su-27.

Su-27 Ukrainian Air Force

At the State Aviation Repair Plant in Zaporozhye, work began on the modernization and repair of several Su-27. Upon completion of the upgraded aircraft, they should be able to use free-fall bombs and NAR for non-terrestrial targets. In addition, they must be equipped with a new navigation system that would work in conjunction with GPS and GLONASS. Ukrainian media reported that six advanced Su-27 ПХNUMXМ and Su-1УБМ27 were transferred to aviation regiments located at airfields in Zhytomyr and Mirgorod.


Another fighter, the lightweight MiG-29 (9.13), is being developed by the state-owned aircraft repair plant in Lviv. Work in this direction was started in 2007 year. MiG-29 with plans for modernization helped one case. At the end of 2005, Ukraine managed to make a profitable contact with Azerbaijan, implying the supply of 2 MiG-29UB and 12 MiG-29. But according to the terms of the contact, the equipment had to be upgraded. Ukrainian companies had the opportunity to translate into reality the theoretical developments on the project of "small modernization" of the MiGs.


The MiG-29UM1 aircraft were upgraded to a radio station and navigation system that fully comply with the requirements of ICAO. The first 3 aircraft modifications received in the 2010 year. According to the plan, it was necessary to modernize twelve vehicles, but until today, no more than eight MiG-29UM1s were converted, it is possible that some of the reconstructed aircraft were lost in the battles. The upgrade of the radar with a planned increase of approximately 2 percent by 20 of the detection range compared to the original radar did not take place. To achieve the required characteristics, a new station must be developed (or ordered from the Russian Phazotron). There is already such a tendency in Russia - this is the Zhuk-M radar.


In terms of combat capabilities, the Ukrainian modernized MiG-29 and Su-27 are far behind the Russian counterparts. Even despite the preservation of the economic situation that was in 2012, Ukraine did not have sufficient financial resources to repair the entire fleet of fighter, which was not numerous. After the destabilization in Ukraine and the actual beginning of the civil war, such opportunities became much less. Due to the lack of resources (spare parts, kerosene and qualified specialists) most of the Ukrainian fighter aircraft is confined to the ground. During the ATO conducted by the Armed Forces in eastern Ukraine, the 2 MiG-29 (both were part of the 114 th tactical aviation brigade, the city of Ivano-Frankivsk) were shot down.

Despite the loud statements in the spring of 2014 that aviation power will be used until the end of the ATO operation, due to the deplorable technical condition of most aviation technology, as well as tangible losses, Ukrainian combat aviation in combat operations in the territories of the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR in the winter of 2014- 2015 of the year was almost never used.


To date, Ukrainian fighter aviation is constantly based on the following airfields: Cornflowers (831 Brigade of Tactical Aviation, Kiev Region), Mirgorod (831 Brigade of Tactical Aviation, Poltava Region), Ozerny (9 Brigade of Tactical Aviation, Zhytomyr Region) , Ivano-Frankivsk (114 brigade of tactical aviation, Ivano-Frankivsk region).


In the USSR, a separate army of air defense was deployed on the territory of Ukraine 8.


In addition to the 6 IAP, which included fighter jets interceptors, it also included parts of radio engineering and anti-aircraft missile forces.


In Odessa, Sevastopol, Lviv, Vasylka and Kharkov, radio-technical brigades were deployed, which included separate radio-technical companies and radio-technical battalions.

RTV were equipped with complexes of different modifications and types and radar stations:

  • radio altimeters: PRV-9, -11, -13, -16, -17;
  • decimeter range: P-15, P-19, P-35, P-37, P-40, P-80, 5Н87;
  • meter range: П-14, П-12, П-18, 5Н84Ф.

Units of the 8 Air Defense Army ZRV in 1991, deployed in Ukraine, included 18 anti-aircraft missile brigades and anti-aircraft missile regiments, which included the 132 anti-aircraft missile division. This number approximately corresponds to the current number of ZRDNs in the air defense missile and air defense missile systems ZRV.


The Ukrainian air defense network, which was inherited from the USSR after its collapse, air defense systems and detection tools were organized in such a way that they could provide geographic regional important objects. Among them are administrative and industrial centers: Kiev, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, and, until recently, Peninsula Crimea. In the period of the USSR, the air defense system was located throughout Ukraine, as well as along the western border. The color of the icons indicated the following:

  • Radar Review of the airspace 64H6, given by the ZRS C-300P - red circles;
  • Airspace radar - blue circles;
  • ZRS C-300PT, C-300PS - red triangles;
  • red triangles - orange triangles;
  • liquidated positions ZRK - white triangles.

Photo 3

According to the picture published above, Ukraine had almost full radar coverage of its territory (as of 2010 year). But today this situation has changed significantly. As a result of the absence and wear of spare parts, the number of serviceable radars has greatly decreased. Part of the RTV equipment, which was deployed in the east of the country, suffered during the hostilities. Thus, in the morning of 6 on May 2014, an 1 radar station was destroyed during an attack on the radio engineering unit (Lugansk region). 21 June 2014, the following losses were RTV. Then, as a result of shelling from mortars, the radar stations of the air defense unit located in Andreevka were destroyed.


Ukraine inherited a large number of long-range and medium-range air defense systems from the Soviet air defense system, namely C-125, C-75, C-200A, B and D, C-300PT and PS. Of the modern anti-aircraft systems in military air defense, there were about 20 battalions of the Buk air defense missile system or several C-300В air defense missile divisions.

The C-75 anti-aircraft missile systems in the middle of the 90s were decommissioned, followed by the little-known C-125 systems, which were in service until the 2000 years. Until 2013, long-range air defense systems С-200В were operated.


October 4 2001 of the year with the Ukrainian C-200 air defense system associated tragic indices. According to the conclusion of the Interstate Aviation Committee Tu-154, the 85693 airborne number of Siberia Aviation Company operating the 1812 flight on the Tul-Aviv-Novosibirsk route was specially hit by a Ukrainian missile that was released as part of military exercises on the Crimean peninsula. As a result, 12 crew members and 66 passengers died.



Most likely, during the training firing period with the participation of Ukrainian air defense, conducted on October 4 2001 at Cape Opuk in the Crimea, T-154 happened to be at the epicenter of the training target and had a radial velocity close to it. He was captured by a radar highlighting the target C-XNUMHD and considered a learning target. Under the conditions of lack of time and nervousness provoked by the presence of foreign guests and the high command, the C-200D operator didn’t meet the target range and was “highlighted” by the Tu-200 plane (it was at a distance of 154-250 km) instead of the training goal, which was launched from a distance 300 km. The defeat of the TU-60 anti-aircraft missile is most likely not the result of a miss on the training target (in some sources it is noted this way), but the guidance of the C-154D missile at the mistakenly identified target. The calculation of the complex could not even imagine the probability of such an outcome of the shooting, so he made no attempt to prevent it. The dimensions of the landfill could not ensure the safety of firing of the anti-aircraft missile system of such a range. All measures to free the airspace by the organizers of the shooting were not taken.

The most advanced anti-aircraft systems that Ukraine received from the USSR were the C-300PT and C-300 PS systems in the number of approximately thirty divisions. At 2010, the air defense units included 11 C-300PS and 16 C-300PT. To date, the C-300 PT systems, which began production at the end of the 70, as a result of serious wear, almost all of them have been removed from combat duty.

Released since 1983, the C-300 PS was a very advanced anti-aircraft system at that time. It ensured effective defeat of enemy air targets flying at high speeds up to 1200 meters per second in range in the zone up to 90 kilometers, at altitudes from 25 meters to the practical regiment of their combat operation, in conditions of a massive raid, in a difficult jamming and tactical situation. The system is weatherproof and able to operate in different climatic zones. Today, the C-300PS is the only long-range air defense system in Ukraine’s air defense system.


The lack of high-quality repair and maintenance during the period of Ukraine’s existence as an independent power led to the fact that a substantial part of the C-300PS became inefficient. Today, the number of C-300PS missiles that could carry combat duty is estimated by experts at seven or eight divisions.

In 2012, the X-NUMX of the C-2PS division underwent a comprehensive overhaul, which was handled by the company Ukroboronservis. In the Ukrainian media, it was reported that in the course of the work a part of the elementary base was replaced. But the production of missiles 300B5 type in Ukraine is not. The available anti-aircraft guided missiles, which are part of the C-55PS kit, have long overdue guaranteed storage periods, so their technical reliability is questionable.

In the 2000s, Ukraine consulted with Russia about the possibility of buying new C-300PMU-2 systems. However, the insolvency of Ukraine and the lack of willingness of Russia to provide the last type of weapon with a loan did not allow updating the air defense of Ukraine. As a result, Ukraine’s supply of weapons to Georgia made this process impossible.

The critical situation with long-range and medium-range anti-aircraft complexes in Ukraine led to the fact that the centralized air defense system included a few Buk-М1 medium-range air defense systems and long-range C-300B air defense systems.

Buk-М1 SAM

Although this is also a temporary measure, since the equipment of the two C-300В battalions, carrying combat duty, is very outdated. Exactly the same situation with the air defense system "Buk-М1", which includes in the troops less than sixty PU.


Of course, there could have been more of them, but during the Yushchenko presidency, the 2 division of such complexes was supplied to Georgia. One of the divisions took part in the hostilities, destroying the Russian SU-24M and Tu-22М3 bombers.

In August, by the beginning of the hostilities, the Georgians did not have time to properly master complex equipment, as a result, part of the calculations were equipped with Ukrainian specialists. Another division of the Buk-М2008 air defense system was unable to take part in hostilities, as it was intercepted by Russian troops in the port of Poti (Georgia).

But be that as it may, if the current state of affairs is preserved by 2020, Ukraine’s air defense will remain without medium-range and long-range anti-aircraft systems. Obviously, the Ukrainian authorities are counting on the supply of modern weapons from Western Europe and the United States, but it is unlikely that in the current difficult situation the “Western partners” will decide to worsen relations with Russia.

In this situation, in terms of strengthening its own air defense system, the Ukrainian authorities can only hope for internal reserves. In April, 2015, there were reports that Ukraine will adopt the C-125-2D Pechora-2d air defense system, developed on the basis of the late Soviet-made C-125М1 air defense system.


In general, the option of upgrading the C-15-2D anti-aircraft missile system is reminiscent of the Russian project GSK Almaz-Antey C-125-2A (firing range - 3,5-28 kilometers, Pechora-2, height of defeat is 0,02 - 20 kilometers) as the modernization is aimed at the SNR-125 missile guidance stations and the radical updated command post of UNV-2

The C-125-2D-based air defense system is used to attack naval and tactical aircraft and air-based cruise missiles operating at medium and low altitudes in active and passive jamming at night and day. SAM C-125-2В passed a complex of tests, including combat shooting. During the modernization of the C-125-М1 air defense system to the C-125-2 level, all the main assets of the complex were completed. According to the developers, during the improvement, the tasks of increasing the mobility, reliability, complex survivability, radar resistance to the adverse effects of radio-electronic interference were resolved, and the SAMS resource was increased by 15 years.


Without a doubt, the modernized Ukrainian C-125 air defense system, even in the case of increased combat capabilities, is not able to replace air defense systems of the C-300П family to be decommissioned.


ZRK C-125-2D “Pechora-2D” of Ukrainian production would be well suited as an addition to the existing multi-channel long-range anti-aircraft systems. It could be used for air defense facilities of airfields, headquarters, communications centers, supply bases and other facilities.

To successfully accomplish the tasks of air defense in the anti-terrorist operation zone, all the components of the C-125-2-DMS (including launchers 5P73-2D and antenna post UNV-2D) must be located on a mobile base. But it would be more logical to use such an air defense missile system for object-based air defense, with sufficient distance from the enemy’s ground attack. Which, however, still does not remove with the creator the solution to the problem of increasing the mobility of the S-125-2-DMS.


From all said above, we can conclude that the system of degradation of air defense of Ukraine. Today, it no longer meets modern requirements and is of focal nature. This means that in the next few years, Ukraine’s air defense will be able to influence the course of hostilities and cease to exist. An indirect confirmation of the degradation of air defense and the Air Force of Ukraine is that the Air Force soldiers began to be perceived as “cannon fodder”. So, at the beginning of the winter of 2015, the Ukrainian Air Forces formed a free squad, which they sent to the combat zone in the east of Ukraine and took part in the battles in the Avdeevka area as an infantry unit.


15 on January 2018 of the Year The State Committee for Design and Development of Luch on its Facebook published a video of test launches that were posted on the 14 network of October on 2017 of the year, accompanied by a new title: Radioniks LLC and the State Enterprise "State Kyiv Design Bureau Luch" performed launches missiles of the upgraded C-125М “Pechora”. The 5ВХNUMXД-М27 rocket uses a new active radar homing head. In this case, in the initial part of the rocket moves along the aeroballistic trajectory, as a result of which such a flight significantly increases the far boundary of the affected area. With new missiles, the furthest border of the affected area is 2 km, and the maximum height is 40 km.

Blog and articles