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17 March 2005

Exclusive – NATO Aircraft Will ‘Hunt’ Russian Missile Systems During Defence-suppression Exercise

Radars used by the Slovak Air Force's S-300PMU (US/NATO codename SA-10b 'Grumble') air-defence missile system will take part in 'Trial Hammer 05' (11-22 April), a NATO specialised suppression of enemy air defence (SEAD) exercise, reports Jane’s Missiles And Rockets exclusively. The S-300PMU is Russia’s primary export version of the efficient aircraft-killing S-300 system. It had not been supplied to Afghanistan, Iraq, or the former Jugoslavia, so NATO has yet to face this advanced system in combat. Slovakia is effectively giving NATO aircrew their first chance to test their missile-hunting skills against this potential future threat.

“Some of the participants of Trial Hammer ‘05, particularly France, Germany, the UK and the US, were keen to have the Slovak Air Force S-300PMU system take part in the exercise. The Slovak Government approved the plan on 9 February 2005,” notes the Jane’s Missiles And Rockets report. “NATO will compensate Slovakia for the cost of transporting the hardware and the fuel used. It will also house and feed the 30-strong unit of Slovakian personnel for the duration of the exercise.”

Existing users of the S-300PMU are: China, Cyprus, Iran, Kazakhstan and Syria. Other countries deploying S-300 variants (all similar to the S-300PMU) are: Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, India, Russia, Ukraine and Vietnam (including a contract worth US$200 million for S-300PMU1 variants due for delivery 2005/06).

The PMU variant primarily represents modifications allowing for transport on a MAZ-543M 8X8 heavy transport vehicle/launch platform. The system (comprising surveillance and illuminating/guidance radars, and launch vehicles equipped with vertically-launched 7.25m long missiles) can send a 133kg high explosive fragmentation warhead at mach 6 towards a target aircraft with high accuracy at ranges of up to 47km (for aircraft flying at 6,500ft or more), or up to 25km against aircraft flying as low as 250ft. (ENDS)

Editor’s Notes:

  • A full copy of the report is given below. You are welcome to quote from it (we ask you to cite Jane’s Missiles And Rockets as the source) however you may not republish without prior permission.

  • For more information or to speak to the author or editor, please contact Mike Foster (PR Executive) at +44 (0)20 8700 3922 and or Claire Brunavs (Group Communications Manager) at +44 (0)20 8700 3703 and

  • See for more information about Jane’s Missiles And Rockets.

  • [full report was provided here with the original press release and is available upon request]

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