YEKATERINBURG, December 21. /TASS/. The latest Buk-M3 medium-range surface-to-air missile systems have gone on combat alert for the first time in the Altai Region in Western Siberia to provide air defense on the territory of Russia’s Central Military District, the District’s press office reported on Monday.
"After activating the anti-aircraft missile systems, the Altai formation has boosted its combat capabilities five-fold without expanding its staff. The personnel of the unit stationed in Biysk earlier underwent re-training to learn to operate Buk-M3 systems. Following this, the teams conducted live-firings at the Kapustin Yar proving ground in the Astrakhan Region and redeployed to their permanent base where all the necessary maintenance work was carried out," the press office said in a statement.
The Buk-M3 surface-to-air missile system is designated to intercept all types of cruise missiles and aerodynamic targets. The Buk-M3 launcher carries 12 missiles while the self-propelled fire unit is armed with six missiles. As compared to their previous versions, the new anti-aircraft missile systems feature the chassis’ increased capacity to carry a larger number of missiles, an improved control system and the crew’s enhanced anti-blast protection.
Russia’s Central Military District is based on the territory of the Volga, Urals and Siberian integrated federal districts and 29 Russian regions. Structurally, the Central Military District also includes some overseas facilities: the 201st military base in Tajikistan, the Kant integrated military base in Kyrgyzstan and units stationed on the territory of Kazakhstan.