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Ukraine struck a new $250 million Russian artillery radar system right after the military touted its arrival

  • Russia on Tuesday touted a counter-battery radar system that had just deployed to the battlefield.

  • Hours later, Ukrainian forces struck it with HIMARS rockets.

  • Counter-battery radars have been critical, allowing both armies to track incoming artillery.

Ukrainian forces struck an expensive, new Russian counter-battery radar system with rockets on the same day military officials announced its deployment to the battlefield.

The Russian defense ministry and various state media outlets announced on Tuesday that Russian troops in Ukraine had received the 1K148 Yastreb-AV, a $250 million counter-battery radar system designed to detect the trajectory of incoming artillery and determine the point of origin for munitions.

Moscow touted the Yastreb-AV as a modern and highly capable system in its announcements, with state media reporting that it was tested in late 2021 or early 2022. But just hours after the announcement it had been fielded in Ukraine, it was hit hard by the very threat it was there to help defeat.

Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces said on Telegram that it discovered the Yastreb-AV during a reconnaissance mission, but the exact battlefield location remains unclear.

Ukrainian forces then fired munitions from a US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) at the exposed Russian target, which was destroyed by fire damage. Kyiv published a video of the strike to multiple social media channels.

Business Insider was unable to immediately independently verify Ukraine’s claim that the Yastreb-AV was destroyed, but the video does appear to indicate that the system took significant damage. In the footage, someone can be seen fleeing the scene in the aftermath as the radar system smolders.

Counter-battery radar systems like the Yastreb-AV have been critical for both Ukraine and Russia throughout the war, which has featured relentless and brutal artillery duels. These systems allow for each military to detect incoming projectiles and quickly pinpoint the origin point, paving way for a return of fire before enemy guns are moved.

Moscow has relied heavily on its Zoopark-1M radar, a hard-to-replace system that’s vulnerable to detection because of its active electromagnetic signature. For this reason, the Zoopark-1M has taken a beating on the battlefield, with Ukrainian forces taking out the critical radars. At one point over the summer, Western intelligence even estimated that Russia was suffering from a “worsening shortage” of these systems, and said the “survivability” of Moscow’s military depended on its defense against Ukrainian artillery.

Ukraine, on the other hand, has used Western-provided systems like the US-provided AN/TPQ-36 radars, tools that have aided it in the counter-battery fight.

The significance of these counter-battery systems was underscored by the Russian defense ministry and state media on Tuesday shortly before Moscow lost its prized Yastreb-AV.

Ukrainian soldiers watch a rocket fire from a HIMARS launcher on May 18, 2023 in Donetsk Oblast.Photo by Serhii Mykhalchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

“The use of modern artillery reconnaissance equipment, such as Zoopark-1M and Yastreb-AV, together with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which increase the effectiveness of artillery fire and survivability on the battlefield, ensures the effective performance of the combat tasks of missilemen and artillerymen,” the defense ministry said in a statement shared to Telegram.

“Together with the Zoopark-1M complex, Yastreb-AV provides detection of Ukrainian artillery firing positions,” state-run Sputnik news agency wrote. “At the same time, the characteristics of the new complex are superior.”

While Ukraine’s strike on the Yastreb-AV did not come amid any significant battlefield movements, Tuesday saw Russian forces launch a massive missile and drone attack at military and civilian targets across the country, killing at least five people and injuring more than 120 others.

The past few days have seen Russia fire some 500 missiles and drones at Ukraine, Kyiv’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. These include both cruise and ballistic missiles, and explosive one-way attack drones. Many of these have been shot down.

“Prior to Ukraine, no country in the world had ever successfully repulsed such combined attacks with the use of drones and missiles, including air-launched ballistic missiles,” Zelenskyy said.

Meanwhile, Britain’s defense ministry noted in a Wednesday intelligence update that by increasing the intensity of its long-range aerial campaign against Ukraine over the past few days, Russia has committed a “significant portion” of the missile stockpile that it had built up in recent months, raising some questions about the sustainability of such attacks.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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