By Editor 09-Apr-2018



Over the past few decades, Ukraine has made a significant leap in the development and production of missile weapons. The Soviet background, as well as skills and abilities acquired during independence contributed to the emergence of new missile weapons of various caliber and purpose. In recent years, the Barrier, Corsar, Skif ATGMs, Stugna-P portable anti-tank complex, Kombat and Konus high-precision guided missiles were created. Some of them have already been successfully used in real combat conditions in the anti-terrorist operation zone in the east of Ukraine and proved to be effective. However, this is not an exhaustive list of Ukrainian developments.

Strike potential

In 2017 two newest “Kvitnyk” and “Karasuk” ammunition were presented to the world market by the SpetsTechnoExport company. These are high-explosive fragmentation shells with a laser semi-active homing head, which are designed to equip the cannon artillery weapon systems with caliber of 122, 152 and/or 155 mm.

Due to its own properties, "Karasuk" provides high probability of the target destroying with a first shot at a distance of up to 12 km. It can be used for firing from artillery systems with caliber of 122 mm, including D-30 guns and 2C1 self-propelled artillery pieces.

"Karasuk" high-precision shell

"Kvitnyk" ammunition with caliber of 152/155 mm has a maximum range of up to 20 km.

To guide both high-precision ammunition, laser target markers-range finders should be used.

"Kvitnik" high-precision shell

The use of these "smart" shells saves time and cost of combat missions, and also reduces losses. Under conditions of modern combat activities and counterbattery fire, the use of high-precision shells gives a decisive advantage over the enemy.

Before the beginning of combat activities in the east of Ukraine, the semiactive laser homing head for "Kvitnyk" was produced with Russian components, but the developers replaced them later. In the process of import substitution, controlled shells came out with even better characteristics than they were before.

One of the important projects of the defense industry of Ukraine in the field of strengthening the shock capabilities is the creation of a jet  projectile for the 9K58 Smerch MRLS, which was not produced in the country previously. In view of this, "Vilkha" project which involves the development and production of such, but already controlled projectile and with better characteristics, is being implemented today.

Guided jet munition, in fact a missile, are created jointly by the specialists of Ukrainians Design Bureaus.

Performance data of "Vilkha" as of 2017 are kept secret. Nevertheless, it is known from open sources that it will have a caliber of 300 mm and will serve to defeat both terrestrial and surface water targets. One of the missile features is a control system. It involves correction of the missile's flight through the pulsed thrusters. "Vilkha" will be able to carry various combat units depending on the destination. The action range has not been announced, but it is expected that it will be at one level of Tochka-U short-range ballistic missile system, the maximum striking range of which is 120 km (it should be reminded that 9K58 Smerch outrange is 90 km). The weight of the missile itself will be 900-1,000 kg. Deviation from the target at the limit shooting distance does not exceed 7 m.


The launch of the "Vilkha" missiles at one of Ukraine's landfills

Since March 2016, at least two tens of successful launches of new missiles at Ukraine's military landfills have been completed.

"Vilkha": Ukraine has successfully tested its "Vilkha" missile complex


At the same time, it should be noted that "Vilkha" project is not only the creation of a missile, but also complete missile complex development. The completion of Vilkha project and the state testing should take place in early 2018. Ukrainian Armed Forces will be provided with this complex after the state trials.

All components for the production of Vilkha are domestic, including the new control system, new missile fuel, and new warhead.

In addition to the Vilkha MRLS, for the foreign contractors, Ukrainian defenders creates an "Grim-2" operational-tactical missile complex, which can also become a powerful shock force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other potential consumers in future. "Grim-2" is the latest development of a significant number of Ukrainian state owned manufacturers.


Short-range ballistic missile system "Grim-2"

The project, which continues for quite a long time, is already at the final stage. In early January 2018, photos and videos of successful tests of the Ukrainian missile engine and the base of "Grim-2" missile complex itself appeared.

Video of "Grim-2" operational-tactical missile complex


Detailed combat characteristics and features of "Grim-2" are not reported. From open sources, it is only known that the complex is designed to defeat single and group stationary targets at distances from 50 to 280 km. Warhead of a one-stage ballistic missile is projected at weight of 480 kg. Armament section can be comprised both on a monoblock and cassette scheme. The monoblock circuit utilizes the high-explosive fragmenting or penetrating high-explosive fragmenting ampoule.

The on-board missile control system is inertial, complete with navigation and guidance systems of various types (radar, optical-electronic).

An important feature of the missile is the possibility of its flight not only along the ballistic predicted trajectory, but also along the aeroballistic. The peculiarity of such a flight is that the missile makes "jumps" unpredictable for the enemy shying away from the counter missile. This guarantees the breakthrough of any complexity air defense, including equipped with S-300 and S-400 complexes.

Strengthening of air defense

In addition to the implementation of a number of projects aimed at increasing the strike capabilities, Ukrainian defense industry enterprises are undertaking measures to improve air defense capabilities, in particular those that once were mass-produced in the Soviet Union and supplied to different regions of the world.

So, Ukraine has developed the projects of modernizations of Strela and Igla family MANPADS, which have proven themselves well in various wars and conflicts and are operated  in more than 60 countries of the world today.  Improved systems have received the names Strela-2MM and Igla-1M respectively. The qualitative characteristics of the modernized MANPADS are provided by new modifications of the homing heads (HH) of 36-45 optical homing head (for Strela-2MM) and UA-424 optical homing head (for Igla-1M) of the development of the Arsenal Central Design Bureau (CDB).

Modernizations of Strela and Igla family MANPADS


Basically, these HHs provide the best characteristics of upgraded complexes. Thus, the Strela-2MM is capable of efficiently firing aircraft and helicopters on a counter course, the optical HH provides comprehensive protection against false infra-red (IR) targets and natural obstacles, increased combat capability in conditions of organized interference. UA-424 optical homing head provides Igla-1M MANPADS with effective protection against interference caused by infrared devices, increased probability of damage to the target, and most importantly – a significant increase in the range of shooting at the target on the counter course.

The homing heads, which will replace the old ones, should use modernized MANPADS to provide increased battle characteristics in comparison with serial samples of such complexes as Stinger, Igla-1 and Igla without mentioning Strela-2M.

Another modernization project for air defense means is the modernization of the S-125M Pechora ADMS. Ukrainian enterprises carried out works on actual updating of the main components and subsystems of the complex, including radar station, high-frequency receiving devices, command transmitters, 5P73 launching system, 5В27D missiles, and so on.

Update package for 5В27D missiles includes the use of new semi-active (5В27D-M1) or active (5В27D-М2) homing heads (HH), as well as a missile engine. Also, in the process of modernization, the pneumatic steering mechanism and aileron actuators are replaced by electric, which reduces the weight of the device and increases the missile properties; the homing head installed; the contactless inertial system installed; the radio receiver elements updated to provide reception and decoding corrective signals; new integrated missile control unit installed, etc.


Update package for 5В27Д missiles

In the modernized 5V27D-M1 missile (with semi-active homing head) a combined guidance method is implemented: at the initial phase of the trajectory, the inertial guidance at a predicted point with radio correction from the SNR-125M is used, and in the last phase, the semi-active homing after reaching the target with illumination from SNA-125M is used. This type of modernization increases the distances of the damage zone up to 40 km against speed and maneuvering targets and up to 45 km against low-speed aerial objects. Thus, the maximum destruction height reached 25 km.

Luch Design Bureau have launched missiles from  modernized S-125M Pechora ADMS


Improvement of the UNV-M antenna station and UNC-M cabin provides detection and tracking of up to three targets by the SNR-125M radar, and modernization of the radio transmitter/radioreceiver allows to monitor of more than 6 5V27D-M1 missiles simultaneously.

Pavlo Barbul, director of Ukrainian state owned export company “SpetsTechnoExport”, responded us, that Ukrainian defense enterprises can offer their products not only for domestic consumer, but also for export a wide range of missile weapons, such as the modernization of the already known Soviet samples, and completely new one that meets the current requirements and is highly competitive with the world best analogues.