Newly leaked images show that the Ukrainian Defense Forces have received S-125 Newa SC mobile air defense systems.

Soviet-era weapons are being demonstrated on the Ukrainian battlefield. Most recently, the Russian side accused Ukraine of using the Tu-141 UAV built in the Soviet era to attack deep inside its territory. It was one of many examples of cold war old men. In another development, the recently delivered Polish S-125 Newa SC mobile air defense system is a valuable addition to Ukraine’s S-125-2D complexes.

Newly leaked images show that the Ukrainian Defense Forces have received S-125 Newa SC mobile air defense systems based on the tracked chassis from Poland to supplement the air defense system. This is a Polish modernization of the Soviet-era S-125 Neva-M anti-aircraft missile system. The system was developed to engage low-altitude manned and unmanned aerodynamic targets within the altitude range of 20-18,000 meters, at distances of 3.5-25 km.

Until 2012, the system had been undergoing two-stage modernization as part of the Concept for the Development of Armed Forces adopted by the Polish government in the late 1990s. The Soviet-era air defense system is fitted on the ΠΆ-55 tank chassis. The radar system, part of the air defense system, was mounted on the wheeled chassis from the Scud missile system. This solution turned the system into a self-propelled one and significantly increased its mobility.

The next upgrade in 1996, the new system has two processors for processing information about the course of targets and missiles. Their computational ability allows them to detect an aerial target under difficult radar suppression conditions. The upgrade allowed for increased target detection range. The defeat range remained unchanged, since it is mainly determined by the rocket propulsion system, and it has not been upgraded.

After modernization, its radar system is more compact, taking up less space. As a result of the modernization, the SAM calculation was reduced by half. In particular, the efficiency and rate of fire of the system has been increased. The new Neva is more resistant to interference and as the first air defense system has received its own IFF system, which is produced under the Thomson-CSF license. Computerization and simplification of service made it possible to reduce the number of combat calculations of air defense systems.

Objectively, it is clear that the S-125 Newa-SC cannot compare with the advanced NASAMS or IRIS-T complexes that NATO has provided to Ukraine. Its biggest advantage is its low cost, taking advantage of the ammunition that Kyiv has available. When deployed on a large scale, the S-125 Newa-SC air defense systems are said to be able to help Ukraine “close the sky”, filling the gaps that NASAMS, IRIS-T, S-300 or Buk -M1, cannot be fully covered.


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