Dole-M2: Russia’s new “shield” for low altitude defense

In mid-October this year, the Russian Ministry of Defense signed a second agreement for the purchase of the Dole-M2 air defense missile system to purchase additional Dole-M2 and Dole-M2DT air defense missile systems worth 100 billion rubles.

    Almost at the same time, experts from the “News” website wrote that the Dohr-M2 air defense missile system will be deployed to Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia by the end of the year.

    Prior to this, several batches of Dole-M2 purchased by the Russian military have been deployed to its western and southern theaters.

    What made the Russian army so fond of Doyle-M2? What are the characteristics of this air defense missile system? What is the combat capability? In this issue, the author will take you to the new “low-altitude shield” of the Russian army.

Fighting stronger, Russia’s air defense shows a new “shield”

    Since Russia launched its military operations in Syria in 2015, how to protect the security of Khememim Air Force Base has always been an important issue for the Russian military in Syria.

    Khememim Air Force Base is a large air base of the Russian army in Syria. Various fighters such as Su-34 and Il-76 transport aircraft are deployed in the base all year round. Even Su-57 stealth fighters have also stationed here.

    To this end, the Russian army deployed many advanced air defense weapons and electronic warfare equipment here, such as S-400, S-300, “Krasu-4”, and so on. Compared with the powerful mid- to high-altitude defense forces and electronic warfare capabilities, the short-range defense forces led by “Armor-S1” are relatively weak, especially the attacks from drones and improvised rockets are annoying to the Russian army.

    Now, there is a new answer to this problem. The answer is Doyle-M2.

    At the end of September this year, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Konashenkokov said that from January to September, Hemmim Air Force Base was attacked by 58 drones and 27 rockets. The missile launched by Dow-M2 was shot down.

    Moreover, the Russian media compared the combat capabilities of Doyle-M2 and “Armor-S1” and declared that from April to October, Doyle-M2 was able to shoot down air targets in Syria with an efficiency of 80%. “Armor-S1” The combat efficiency is 19%.

    The credibility of this set of data has yet to be confirmed, but it is certain that before and after this, the Russian army did not hesitate to buy hundreds of billions of rubles to buy Dole-M2, and Belarus also bought 5 sets of Dole-M2. Used for air defense in the northwest of the country. At the end of October this year, after the first joint air defense exercise between Russia and Egypt, a report on the website of the “Russian News” stated that the Egyptian military also “phased” the Dole-M2 and other air defense systems.

    There was never a general on the battlefield and no equipment that could be used once and for all. Dow-M2’s outstanding performance today also stems from the lessons learned from the “predecessors” and the war.

    In the mid-1980s, in order to cope with the increasing air strike capabilities of Western countries led by the United States, the Dole air defense missile system came into being. Limited to the technical conditions at the time, this type of missile system could only attack one air target at a time.

    In 1992, the Dole-M1, which was unveiled at the Moscow Air Show, could attack two air targets, and its combat capability was significantly enhanced. It was considered to be one of the most advanced low-altitude air defense missile systems at the time.

    This trend took a turning point in 2007. This year, when the Israeli Air Force attacked a major place in Syria, the Dohr-M1 deployed by the Syrian Army was unresponsive. Some experts believe that this incident directly or indirectly promoted the development of the latest improved anti-aircraft missile Dow-M2 by Diamond-Antai.

    In 2016, Russia unveiled a new “shield” for low-altitude defense-the Dole-M2. Alexander Leonov, commander of the Russian Army Air Defense Forces, declared that such advanced short-range and low-altitude air defense missile systems have never appeared before, whether in the Russian army or abroad. It is said that Doyle-M2 can detect ultra-low altitude targets, accurately guide air strike weapons and even stealth targets.

 Can work together in networking and launch

    In recent years, the Russian army has successively purchased and deployed the Dole-M2. This fully reflects the Russian military’s recognition of its combat performance. Relevant Russian experts believe that the Dole-M2 far exceeds the performance of similar Western products.

    Compared with the “Predecessor”, Dole-M2 can intercept more targets at the same time, and the interception range is wider. It is said that it can track 48 targets and intercept 4 of them at the same time. The number of intercepts is twice that of the Dole-M1.

    Dow-M2 uses the newly developed 9M338 air defense missile. According to Russian News Network, manufacturers tested the Dole-M2 in 2013. During the test, Dow-M2 fired a total of 5 missiles of this type, targeting high-mobile target aircraft. Among them, 3 targets were hit frontal, and the other 2 targets were destroyed by fragments generated after the missile warhead detonated. From this, the good performance of this type of air defense missile can be seen in part.

    Compared with Doyle-M1, Doyle-M2 has 16 firepower channels, which is twice as many as the former. At the same time, Dole-M2’s information processing ability and anti-electromagnetic interference ability have been significantly improved.

    Take two Dow-M2 missile launch vehicles as an example of a combat unit. Dow-M2 can share each other’s radar information in real time while searching in their respective airspaces, thereby expanding the detection area. In this mode, the on-board system will quickly optimize the strike plan for the identified incoming targets, and scientifically assign the targets to the missile launcher, making the strike more efficient. When the search radar of one missile launcher is damaged, the radar of another missile launcher can still be used to continue the operation.

    Not only that, the Dole-M2 also has the ability to launch missiles in motion. This “unique skill” makes it easy to respond to “lightning” air strikes launched by enemy forces.

    The ability to respond quickly is also a highlight of the Dole-M2. It only takes 5 seconds from the discovery of the target to firing. And, depending on the terrain, it can use different chassis, both wheeled, tracked, and polar, which gives it a good maneuverability.

    The Russian naval force once fixed a Dole-M2 launch module with steel cables on the frigate’s deck and successfully launched it. Although this is an experiment, it is not difficult to see the Russian Navy’s expectations for the Dole-M2. Maybe soon, the ship-borne version of the Dole-M2 will also enter people’s field of vision.

Deployed in places, reflecting the power of the new “shield”

    Kaliningrad Oblast is located in the westernmost part of Russia. It is adjacent to Poland, Lithuania and other countries. It is not adjacent to Russia. It is an enclave of Russia. This time Russia announced that it would deploy Dole-M2 in Kaliningrad Oblast. The move was profound.

    Protect important goals. On the one hand, as a Russian enclave, Kaliningrad Oblast faces the Baltic Sea, Poland to the south, Lithuania to the east and northeast, and the threat of NATO. On the other hand, Kaliningrad is also the seat of the Baltic Fleet Command of the Russian Navy. The Russian army has deployed a large number of advanced weapons and equipment, such as Iskander missiles and Su-30SM fighters. The presence of the Dole-M2 can not only carry out field operations accompanied by air defense missions, but also protect military bases and other important targets.

    Complete the air defense network. In Kaliningrad, the Russian army has deployed anti-aircraft missile systems such as S-400 and S-300. The medium and long-range air defense forces are strong, but due to the influence of the curvature of the earth and the fluctuations of ground features, the low-altitude defense forces here are not strong enough.

    After the deployment of the Dole-M2, it can focus on the difficult-to-find low-altitude flight targets. Together with the S-400 and S-300, it forms a step-by-step air defense network system. Restrict and influence air operations in the area.

    Show toughness. In recent years, NATO has continued to strengthen its military presence in the Baltic States, establish military bases, deploy missile defense systems, and often organize military exercises. Poland has also stated on many occasions that it wants to invite the US military to send more troops to the country. This series of moves will inevitably increase Russia’s strategic pressure and trigger the response of the Russian army.

    Russia has paid special attention to the construction of the Western Military Region for a long time, precisely to cope with NATO’s “eastward expansion.” This time, Russian experts announced that the deployment of the Dole-M2 in Kaliningrad Oblast was also a response to NATO’s continuous strengthening of military forces and “east expansion.” If the situation in the region continues to become tense, the Russian military may also deploy more advanced weapons in Kaliningrad region.

Updated: December 15, 2019 — 9:08 am

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