Belarusian Defense Ministry Receives Six 9K332MK TOR-M2K Air Defense Missile Systems
Belarusian Defense Ministry Receives Six 9K332MK TOR-M2K Air Defense Missile Systems

Belarusian Defense Ministry Receives Six 9K332MK TOR-M2K Air Defense Missile Systems

Six 9K332MK Tor-M2K air defense missile systems delivered by Russia entered service with an air defense missile brigade of the Belarusian Air Force and Air Defense. The Belarusian Defense Ministry have received new unique combat vehicles, which have no world analogs, have come in service with the brigade. The “K” stands for “Kolesnyy” (wheeled); the system’s 9A331MK transporter-launcher and radar (TLAR) vehicles use MZKT-6922 6×6 chassis unlike the transporter-launcher and radar vehicles in Russian military Tor systems, which use tracked chassis. The use of wheeled chassis allowed to improve mobility and reduce operating servicing costs. Components of the Tor M2K system can self-deploy over long distances.

The Tor (Torus) is an all-weather, low- to medium-altitude, short-range surface-to-air missile system designed for destroying aircrafts, helicopters, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. Originally developed by the Soviet Union under the GRAU designation 9K330 Tor, the system is commonly known by its NATO reporting name, SA-15 “Gauntlet”. The closest foreign equivalent to the Tor, in function and operation, are systems like the British Rapier missile and French Crotale missile systems, which some consider to have somewhat less performance than Tor. Tor using vehicles, which carries a crew of four, and acts as an autonomous Transporter, Launcher And Radar unit, or TLAR (similar to but not a TELAR, as it does not erect the missile to a launch position).

Belarusian Defense Ministry Receives Six 9K332MK TOR-M2K Air Defense Missile Systems
Belarusian Defense Ministry Receives Six 9K332MK TOR-M2K Air Defense Missile Systems

Upgrades have continued over the lifetime of the system, with developer Almaz Antey unveiling the newest incarnation of the Tor missile system, the Tor-M2E, at the MAKS Airshow in 2007. Ammunition of the Tor-M2 includes 8 missiles 9M331 or 16 missiles 9M338 with increased altitude and range. Tor-M2E missiles have a range of 16 km, maximum altitude of 10 km and maximum speed of 1000 m/s. The system is capable of short-stop firing, which takes 2–3 seconds for the system to go from motion to stationary and firing of the missile. The Tor-M2E is currently produced at OJSC Izhevsk Electromechanical plant. Tor-M2K 9K332MK is Tor-M2E version with a wheeled 9?331?? chassis developed by the Belarusian company MZKT mounting two 9M334 missile modules with four 9A331 missiles.

Tor-M2K will replace the old Soviet-made S-300 air defense missile systems. The first batteries (4 vehicles each) of Tor-M2 surface-to-air missile systems entered service with the 120th anti-aircraft missile brigade of Air Force and Air Defense Troops in 2011-2012. In early 2014, the 120th brigade set up an air defense battalion comprising three batteries armed with Tor-M2 missile systems. +5 Tor-M2K ordered in 2016 and delivered in 2018. Additional systems were delivered and ordered in 2016 and 2017. In 2022 Belarus shipped at least one Tor M2K battery with 5 launcher vehicles with associated command and support vehicles to Russia. These were used to bolster up Russian air defenses during the Russian invasion to Ukraine.

Belarusian Defense Ministry Receives Six 9K332MK TOR-M2K Air Defense Missile Systems
Belarusian Defense Ministry Receives Six 9K332MK TOR-M2K Air Defense Missile Systems

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