The Russian Navy plans to install the Tor-M2KM air defence system on warships

At the International Maritime Defence Show (IMDS) “Fleet-2024” in Kronshtadt it was announced that the Russian Navy plans to install the Tor-M2KM air defence system (ADS) on surface combat ships. Tests of the navalised version of this system should be carried out soon

“Preparation is underway to conduct tests of the Tor-M2KM air defence system. Based on the results, a decision should be made to accept the system for service. The “navalised” version of this ADS should begin to be supplied to the Russian Navy to be deployed on ships as well to protect naval bases already next year,” said the official magazine of the “Fleet-2024” exhibition.

The Tor-M2KM ADS has already been recommended for use in establishing air defence of the most important naval installations and to strengthen the air defence of ships in the fleet. This decision was made by a special commission appointed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy. As Russian specialized publications previously reported, tests were carried out in 2015-2016, during which the autonomous combat module of the Tor-M2KM ADS was installed on the deck of the Project 11356 guided missile frigate “Admiral Grigorovich” (in the photo). Firing was carried out on the open sea with the ship sailing at 8 knots. The ADS intercepted two air targets, one of which simulated a high-speed air attack weapon, and the second a Harpoon anti-ship missile (ASM) flying at very low altitude (4.5-5.0 m).

Based on these test results, a decision was made to improve the software of the complex. The updated air defence system was tested again in 2019. Then targets flying at very low altitude were detected in a timely manner and conditionally hit, the new algorithm operating the hardware of ADS proving its effectiveness in intercepting low-flying targets.

The layout of the new sea-based ADS has already been established, the system looking completely different from the test module used in the past albeit using its components. It will include a control system which antenna will be installed on the deck or superstructure of the ship, on a stabilized platform. The below-deck space will house an ADS combat post and unified vertical launchers for guided surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). The ADS can be installed on surface ships with a displacement of 300 tonnes or more.

Plans to install the “Tor-M2KM” ADS on surface ships indicate that the command of the Russian Navy is seriously concerned about the problem of protecting the fleet not only from attacks by anti-ship missiles, but also from armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This is especially true for surface ships that do not have sufficient air defence systems and operate outside the zone of cover from air attacks by the main forces of the fleet or operational task group.

Photo courtesy Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant “Kupol”