Tu-22M3 Shot Down by S-200, But SAM System Likely Completely Revamped

The S-200 surface-to-air missile launch / Open source photo
The S-200 surface-to-air missile launch / Open source photo

There are grounds to believe that for such a mission, the Soviet S-200 air defense missile system could have been almost completely reconfigured

The head of the Defense Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, in a comment to The War Zone portal, noted that the russian Tu-22M3 strategic bomber was shot down on the morning of April 19, 2024, using the S-200 air defense missile system.

In his comment to TWZ, Budanov also pointed out that the russian Tu-22M3 was shot down at a distance of 308 kilometers from the location of the Ukrainian SAM launcher.

Read more: Confirmed: ​the Ukrainian Air Force​ Destroyed Tu-22M3 Strategic Bomber and Kh-22 Cruise Missiles for the First Time
Defense Express
The russian Tu-22M3 on fire and falling near Stavropol, russia, after receiving a hit from Ukrainian air defense. April 19th, 2024 / Still frame of an open-source video

The comment above can be considered as practically official confirmation that in this historical event, the Ukrainian side deployed a system of exactly this type.

Here arises immediately a series of points related to the main question - how exactly was this Soviet SAM system modernized to engage it for the mission of shooting down the Tu-22M3.

Let's recall that the original version of the Soviet S-200 is a stationary system with the 5B28 surface-to-air missile, which in the S-200M Vega-M version has a range of up to 255 km, and the S-200D version - up to 300 kilometers.

The 5B27 anti-aircraft missile, Defense Express
The 5B28 anti-aircraft missile / Open source photo

Defense Express military expert Ivan Kyrychevskyi stated on Espreso that the Soviet S-200 system, being stationary, had to be made mobile.

"In order for the destruction to be possible at the declared distance of more than 300 kilometers from the state border, the S-200 had to be so radically redesigned that nothing should have remained of this old Soviet system. Even the 5B28 anti-aircraft missile, which can fly so far, also had to be redesigned. That is, to change the warhead, to make better electronics, to increase the range. That is, this is a completely new and unique development that has better characteristics than the Soviet S-200 SAM system," Kyrychevskyi explained.

Position of the S-200 SAM System, Defense Express
Position of the S-200 SAM System / Open source photo
Read more: ​Indeed, Georgia in 2008 Took Down a Tu-22M3 as Well but Ukraine's Case is Different