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Russia’s latest Buk-M3 missile systems tested in real warfare in Ukraine — expert

"It is there that the surface-to-air missile systems can fully demonstrate their combat capabilities," head of the Military-Political Analysis Bureau says

ABU DHABI /UAE/, February 23. /TASS/. The zone of the special military operation in Ukraine has become a testing ground for Russia’s latest Buk-M3 surface-to-air missile systems where they demonstrate their excellent performance, a Russian expert told TASS at the IDEX 2023 international arms show in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

"The special military operation is a testing ground where the teams of military hardware shoot at real rather than training targets," Alexander Mikhailov, head of the Military-Political Analysis Bureau, told TASS.

"It is there that the surface-to-air missile systems can fully demonstrate their combat capabilities. As the enemy employs new tactics and strategies, Russian personnel raise their qualitative level, cope with new objectives and improve their military skills," the expert pointed out.

The Soviet-era Buk-M1 anti-aircraft missile systems in service with the Ukrainian army practically cannot be upgraded to the Buk-M3 version available in Russian troops, he stressed. In actual fact, the resources needed for coping with this task will exceed the cost of developing the new modification, he added.

"It should be noted that at the IDEX 2023 exhibition the Russian manufacturer Almaz-Antey demonstrates the Viking surface-to-air missile system as the export version of the Buk-M3. This weapon evokes great interest from the delegations visiting the company’s display stand, especially those from countries in the Middle East," Mikhailov said.

The IDEX 2023 international arms show is running in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on February 20-24. Russia’s integrated display stand is accommodated in a separate pavilion where leading Russian defense manufacturers feature over 200 full-scale types of weaponry, military hardware, munitions and combat gear.

Buk-M3 air defense system

The Buk-M3 is a medium-range battlefield air defense system designed to fight maneuverable aerodynamic targets, engage radio-contrast ground targets and strike naval targets under intensive enemy fire and jamming. Thanks to its new missile, the Buk-M3 is practically twice as efficient as its previous versions and is unrivaled in the world.

The first Buk-M3 anti-aircraft missile systems arrived for Russian troops in October 2016. The air defense system is available in several modifications, including the Viking land-based export version and also the shipborne Shtil, Shtil-1 and Uragan weapons. The latter two versions are offered for exports.