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UK Defense Ministry: Russia likely lost at least 4 surface-to-air missile launchers in one week

by Nate Ostiller November 2, 2023 12:55 PM 2 min read
Russian S-400 Triumph missile system (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is driven during the Victory Day Red Square Parade on May 9, 2023 in Moscow, Russia. (Contributor/Getty Images)
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Ukrainian strikes destroyed at least four Russian surface-to-air missile (SAM) launchers located in occupied territories over the course of the last week, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in its intelligence update on Nov. 2.

The destroyed equipment includes three S-400 Triumph (known by NATO as SA-21) launchers, which reportedly cost $500 million each, in Luhansk Oblast, as well as potentially another unknown air defense SAM system in Crimea.

According to the U.K. Defense Ministry, Russia's high-tech, expensive SAM systems have suffered significant losses due to Ukraine's introduction of modern precision strike weapons onto the battlefield.

In order to compensate for the losses in Ukraine, Russia may have to cycle out air defense systems from other locations, such as within Russia, which could then weaken its defenses there.

Ukraine has extensively employed High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) on the battlefield and recently began using the long-range Army Tactical Missiles Systems (ATACMS) after they were delivered by the U.S. in mid-October.

In addition, Ukraine has received other lang-range precision missiles from its allies, including the Storm Shadow from the U.K. and their equivalent, SCALP-EG, from France.

The missiles have been used to strike deep behind Russian lines, targeting ammunition depots, command posts, or military equipment storage facilities.

Ukraine now reportedly possesses 20 ATACMS, which were first used on a strike against Russian military airfields in occupied territories on Oct. 17 that allegedly damaged or destroyed nine helicopters and other equipment, as well as killed dozens of soldiers.

Uncertain Triumph: Ukraine picks apart Russia’s best air defenses in Crimea
The past month has not been kind to Russia’s forces in occupied Crimea. In a span of weeks, a ship, a submarine, and multiple air defense systems were destroyed. Ukraine said these targets included Russia’s S-400 surface-to-air missile systems, optimistically named the Triumph. Purported videos of…
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