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​What is the Fundament-M Destroyed in Ukraine's Strike on Dzhankoi Airfield

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Vehicles carrying the Fundament-M hardware / Open-source illustrative photo
Vehicles carrying the Fundament-M hardware / Open-source illustrative photo

The function of this equipment, its general and tactical value

Defense Intelligence of Ukraine has clarified the results of the strike on April 17th, 2024 on the russian airfield in Dzhankoi, occupied Crimea. The statement claims four S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, three radars, an air defense command post, and a Fundament-M air surveillance system.

This is the first time the Fundament-M system has come into focus amidst russia's war against Ukraine. Defense Express provides an outline of the capabilities of this military equipment and explains why its destruction is important.

Read more: ​Another S-400 SAM System Likely to Destroy In Result of Ukraine’s Missile Strike on russia’s Dzhankoi Air Base
Fundament-M air defense C2 system / Defense Express / What is the Fundament-M Destroyed in Ukraine's Strike on Dzhankoi Airfield
Fundament-M air defense C2 system / Open-source illustrative photo

The information about the Fundament-M is very limited. In particular, there are only three photos of it available.

The equipment is essentially an automated system for command and control (C2) of russian air defense units. The earliest mention of Fundament-M is dated 2011, the russian sources stated it could operate a whole air defense regiment, securing coordination of assets and units when repelling, for instance, a large-scale combined attack with cruise and ballistic missiles.

The first public presentation of Fundament-M took place at the MAKS-2013 expo, and initial reports of supplies to the russian military followed in 2015. The russian media said at the time that such systems entered service with units deployed in Crimea and the Far East.

Then, in 2021, five systems were also handed to the Central Military District of the russian armed forces. That leads to the conclusion that Fundament-M is scarce equipment, which is why they were supplied only to the most important military districts located directly beside the potential adversary.

Fundament-M air defense C2 system / Defense Express / What is the Fundament-M Destroyed in Ukraine's Strike on Dzhankoi Airfield
Fundament-M air defense C2 system / Open-source illustrative photo

The russians only mentioned one specification regarding this C2 system: its compatibility with all available radars and air defense systems within the russian army.

However, the Ukrainian successful strike on Dzhankoi casts doubt on how effectively it can actually engage air defenses to protect itself against a missile strike.

Earlier Defense Express took a look at the russian 29B6 Container radar system which has been recently destroyed by a Ukrainian attack drone.

Read more: What Makes the 29B6 Container Radar System So Special, Which Has Been Attacked by Ukrainian UAVs for the Second Time?