Ukraine captures Russia's newest air defense system. Another jackpot for U.S. intelligence?
Ukrainian troops now have their hands on one of Russia's most modern military equipment, 9S935, which cues up with a wide spectrum of Russian air defense systems. Twitter account, UAWeapons, shared this tweet.
#Ukraine: A very modern 9S935 MANPADS gunner's target cuing set was captured by the Ukrainian army. This complex is a part of a "Barnaul-T" command and control system designed to manage a variety of air defense units. pic.twitter.com/uKXcRU9YoW— ?? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 29, 2022
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began over a month ago, the former has not only lost several aircraft and ground vehicles in combat but also seen critical pieces of equipment being left behind.
Big-ticket captures of critical military equipment
Last week, we had reported that Ukrainian forces had captured a similar part of a Russian electronic warfare system, that had been left behind. Prior to that, reports had suggested that even civilians were confiscating Russian equipment and Ukrainian authorities were happy to let them collect war memorabilia.
As it might never be known how many pieces of Russian equipment were truly lost in this conflict, the UAWeapons account is the most elaborate record of captures made by Ukrainian forces.
The target cuing set is a radar equipped part of the command and control set in a larger system called Barnaul-T which is used to manage air defenses. This isn't the first one to be captured. A similar system was captured earlier this month and even put to use by Ukrainian forces.
#Ukraine: A Barnaul-T 9S932-1 command post (Used for coordination of AA batteries) was captured by the Ukrainian Forces NW of #Kyiv, and was immediately put into use by the 72nd Mechanized Brigade. pic.twitter.com/AaVZPPEykm— ?? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 3, 2022
The Barnaul-T system has been operational for over a decade and brings together various pieces of Russian short-range air defense system (SHORAD). Due to its small fooprint, it is highly mobile and can be used by ground troops, a reason why we are seeing these systems in Ukrainian territory.
The system is highly automated and can team up with Tor-M and 9K35 Strella tracked surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems. When required, it can also be used with Russian wheeled SAM system called 9K33-Osa or by man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS), 9K333 Verba.
A treasure trove of information
As an ally, Ukraine already shares its military equipment data which is largely sourced from Soviet-era technology with the U.S., under the latter's Formal Material Exploitation (FME) program.
It is likely that the U.S. has been given access to these captured systems and is busy working to understand how they function. In the case of this particular piece of equipment, Russian forces need to identify if the aircraft on the radar is friendly or not. It is likely that the information is coded into the system and could possibly be exploited in the future, The Drive reported.
With Ukrainian forces making scores of captures during this conflict, U.S. intelligence has its hands full for the next few months.
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