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The UK Defense Intelligence: The Tor SAM is Designed to Protect the Frontline of russian Occupying Forces in Ukraine

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Tor-M2 anti-aircraft system / Open source illustrative photo
Tor-M2 anti-aircraft system / Open source illustrative photo

The efforts of both russia and Ukraine to overcome their adversary’s ground-based air defense systems continue to be one of the most important contests of the war

On the russian side, the SA-15 Tor short-range surface-to-air missile system (SAM) is playing a critical and largely effective role.

With a maximum range of 15 km, the SA-15 is operated by the russian army air defense units and is designed to protect the front line of ground troops, the UK Defense Intelligence reports.

Read more: Ukrainian Military Destroyed the russian Tor Air Defense System in Zaporizhzhia (Video)

This is in contrast with other short-range systems, such as SA-22 Pantsir, which are operated by russian Aerospace Forces and typically protects command nodes, longer range SAMs, and air bases.

Pantsir-S1 Air Defense Missile System, Defense Express
Pantsir-S1 Air Defense Missile System

Effectively acting as the front line of russia’s elaborate air defense network in Ukraine, the SA-15 is currently particularly utilized to counter Ukrainian uncrewed aerial vehicle operations.

russian Tor-M2 air defense missile system, Defense Express
russian Tor-M2 air defense missile system / Open source illustrative photo

One of the key limitations of the system in the current war is likely the endurance of its crew.

With an established allocation of only three personnel to each system, maintaining a high state of alert for extended periods is highly likely proving an extreme test of endurance.

The Tor-M2DT, a version of the Tor-M2, is optimized for Arctic and harsh terrain
The Tor-M2DT, a version of the Tor-M2, is optimized for Arctic and harsh terrain / Open source illustrative photo

The Tor air defense system incorporates a surveillance antenna, tracking radar, and 9M330/9M331 missiles on a tracked chassis.

Read more: Best russian Anti-Drone System Tor-M1 Gets Hit with FPV Drone