by Michael Starr
Rare Russian air defense systems have been shot down by Ukrainian forces.
Ukrainian service members unpack Javelin anti-tank missiles, delivered by plane as part of the U.S. military support package for Ukraine, at the Boryspil International Airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine February 10, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO)
A rare Russian Arctic TOR-M2DT air defense system was destroyed for the first time in the platform's service history by Ukrainian artillery, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
Ukrainian artillerymen hit the TOR-M2DT with shells after the location of the system was scouted by a drone, the ministry said, posting a video mocking how the anti-air platform had been extolled in Russian media.
The Arctic TOR-M2DT air defense system became the star of russian television when it was sent to Ukraine. But soon a Ukrainian drone introduced it to Ukrainian gunners. It burned brightly, the fire extinguisher did not help. pic.twitter.com/12ze4kj6sl— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) February 2, 2023
"The Arctic TOR-M2DT air defense system became the star of Russian television when it was sent to Ukraine," said the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. "It burned brightly, the fire extinguisher did not help."
Was this an isolated incident?
A second TOR-M2DT was destroyed on Friday, claimed Ukraine Weapons Tracker, an open-source intelligence project of Calibre Obscura arms research. It claimed that these incidents were the first confirmed kills of the systems.
#Ukraine: The second ever destruction (in as many days) of the extremely rare Russian 9A331MDT Tor-M2DT air defense system, intended for use in the Arctic. It was again destroyed using M982 Excalibur guided projectiles in #Kherson Oblast. pic.twitter.com/8FrubQC64K— Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) February 3, 2023
The project said that both Tor-M2DT were destroyed in Kherson using M982 Excalibur-guided projectiles. Excalibur rounds are GPS-guided 155 mm projectiles that were provided to Ukraine in US defense packages.
The Tor-M2DT is the arctic version of the Tor-M2 surface-to-air missile system. The Tor-M2 was designed to intercept attacks from cruise missiles, gliding bombs, aircraft, helicopters and drones, according to Russian state media outlet TASS. It has a range of 12km and altitude range of 10km.