MINSK, September 11 (RIA Novosti)
Russia will deliver a third battery of Tor-M2 air defense systems to Belarus by the end of this year, Belarusian Defense Minister Yuri Zhadobin said Wednesday.
Two Tor-M2 batteries were delivered to Belarus in 2011 and 2012. They have been deployed with the 120th Missile Brigade in western Belarus.
“The delivery of the third Tor-M2 battery will allow us to form a full-size battalion based on advanced, new-generation weaponry,” Belarusian state news agency BelTA quoted Zhadobin as saying.
The Tor-M2 (SA-15 Gauntlet) is a low- to medium-altitude, short-range surface-to-air missile system designed for intercepting aircraft, cruise missiles, precision-guided munitions, unmanned aerial vehicles and ballistic targets.
The Belarusian minister, who attended an active phase of the Combat Commonwealth 2013 air defense exercise at Russia’s Ashuluk firing range, praised the performance of the Tor-M2, as Belarusian crews operating the system destroyed three simulated targets with four missiles during live-firing drills.
“It is a very good result, even better than we expected,” Zhadobin said.
Moscow and Minsk signed an agreement on the joint protection of the Russia-Belarus Union State's airspace and the creation of an integrated regional air defense network in February 2009.
The network reportedly comprises five Air Force units, 10 air defense units, five technical service and support units, and one electronic warfare unit. It is part of the integrated air defense network of the Commonwealth of Independent States.