Poland Delivers Soviet-Made S-200 Surface-to-Air Missiles to Ukraine - M5 Dergi
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Poland Delivers Soviet-Made S-200 Surface-to-Air Missiles to Ukraine

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According to information published by the Polish Defense magazine Defence24, on June 5, 2024, Poland delivered an S-200 surface-to-air missile to Ukraine, a NATO code-named SA-5 Gammon. Poland received S-200 systems from the Soviet Union during the Cold War to bolster its air defense capabilities as part of the Warsaw Pact.

The S-200 air defense missile systems were part of the Polish Air Defense Forces and were stationed strategically to protect critical infrastructure and key cities from potential aerial threats. According to the military balance 2023, the Polish armed forces were always equipped with one battery of S-200 Vega.

Over the years, Poland undertook various modernization programs to keep the S-200 systems operational and improve their capabilities. This included upgrades to radar systems and missile guidance.

As of recent reports, the S-200 system has been retired from active service in Poland. The country now relies on modern air defense systems, such as the Patriot missile system, which offers enhanced capabilities and interoperability with NATO forces.

In recent developments, the Ukrainian armed forces have ingeniously adapted the Soviet-era S-200 missile system to bolster their capabilities in the ongoing conflict with Russia. Originally designed as a long-range surface-to-air missile system, the S-200 has been modified by Ukraine for a ground-attack role. This involves adjustments to its guidance systems, enabling the missiles to strike land-based targets effectively.

Ukraine’s adaptation of the S-200 air defense missile system, a significant development in the ongoing conflict with Russia, has been a testament to their strategic and tactical ingenuity. By repurposing the S-200 system, Ukraine has effectively enhanced both defensive and Offensive operations, demonstrating their resourcefulness in leveraging existing military hardware. This innovative use of the S-200 not only highlights Ukraine’s commitment to defending its territory but also showcases their ability to counter the advances of Russian forces through strategic adaptation.

The S-200 (NATO designation: SA-5 Gammon) is a Soviet-made, long-range, high-altitude surface-to-air missile system. It was specifically designed to counter high-speed and high-altitude threats, such as bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. The system’s primary combat capabilities include engaging aerial targets at distances of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles) and altitudes ranging from 300 meters to 40,000 meters (984 feet to 131,234 feet). It utilizes a combination of semi-active radar homing and radio-command guidance, which allows for accurate tracking and interception of fast-moving aerial targets.

Key features of the S-200 air defense system include its large and powerful missiles, high-explosive fragmentation warheads weighing around 217 kilograms (478 pounds), and a two-stage solid-fuel rocket motor. The system is typically deployed in fixed sites, comprising multiple launchers and associated radar and command units. The S-200’s engagement range and high-altitude capability make it suitable for targeting strategic assets such as high-altitude bombers, surveillance aircraft, and other high-value aerial targets,

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