Air Defense: Tor Ages Like A Fine Wine

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October 31, 2015: in late 2015 Russia announced another upgrade for their 30 year old  Tor-M (SA-15) air defense missile system. This one enables the launcher vehicle to fire its guided missiles while on the move. The latest version of Tor is the Tor-M2U. The Tor-M missiles can hit aircraft up to 12 kilometers away and cruise missiles at a distance of five kilometers. The missile launcher vehicle has a crew of thee (commander, driver and missile systems operator). 176 kg (378 pound) missiles are three meters (ten feet) long, 235mm (9.25 inches) in diameter and carry a 15 kg (33 pound). Each battery has search radar and command center vehicles, and controls four launcher vehicles (each carrying eight missiles, and another radar.)

The original tracking radar on the missile vehicle could track one target at a time but the latest (Tor-M2) can track four at a time. Missiles can be launched from the vehicle at three second intervals.

The original missile carrier/launcher vehicle was armored (against small arms and shell fragments), tracked and weighed 34 tons. Since then a cheaper towed (on a wheeled trailer) version has appeared followed by a version on a 6x6 truck that proved more maneuverable, comfortable and cheaper than the armored version.

Russia is the original user but Tor-M has also been exported to Greece, Venezuela, China, Iran and Egypt.

 

 

 


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