IDEX 2019: Russia enters VSHORAD market

Dmitry Fediushko

Russia is entering the international market for very short-range air defence (VSHORAD) systems, a source from the country’s defence industry told European Defence Review at the IDEX 2019 defence show.

“The Machine-Building Design Bureau (KBM, a subsidiary of Rostec’s holding High-Precision Systems) has developed the Gibka-S tactical air defence system. It is the first Russian attempt to enter the international market for VSHORAD weapons,” said the source.

According to him, the new systems fires two types of short-range surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). “The Gibka-S fires either Igla-S ‘SA-24 Grinch’ or Verba ‘SA-25 Verba’ SAMs on the move and at halt. The weapon detects aerial targets at a distance of 15 km and consumes information provided by both integral systems and external target designation devices,” said the source.

The Gibka-S transports up to four servicemen and has been fitted with a remote control panel and four ready-use SAMs. The VSHORAD system comprises up to six 9A332 combat vehicles.

The Igla-S’s 9M342 72.2 mm SAM engages an aerial target flying at an altitude of up to 3,500 m at a top speed of 320-400 m/s (depending on the firing position). The missile is 1,690 mm long and weighs 11.3 kg. It carries a high-explosive fragmentation (HE-Frag) warhead with a dual-mode fuze and is powered by a dual-mode solid-fuel engine. “The Igla-S SAM features a single-channel guidance unit and is controlled by a passive dual-spectrum optical warhead,” said the source.

The Verba is the latest man-portable air defence system adopted by the Russian military. The weapon’s 9M336 72 mm SAM engages targets flying at an altitude of up to 3,500 m and has a slant firing range of 6,000 m. Unlike Igla-S, the Verba has been fitted with a three-channel passive seeker. The 9M336 carries a 3.5-kg HE-Frag warhead with a dual-mode fuze.

The combat module of the Gibka-S is mounted on a Tigr-M-family 4×4 all-terrain armoured vehicle.

Photo by Dmitry Fediushko