Russia's intense air and missile defence operation in Ukraine War

Alexander Mladenov examines Russia’s air and missile defence operations in its protracted and hotly contested war with Ukraine

Russia’s expansive multi-service GBAD (ground based air defence) network, supporting the invasion of Ukraine and incorporating a wide variety of capable assets supplied by the Russian Land Forces (RuLF), Airborne Troops (RuAT), Navy (RuN) and Aerospace Forces (RuASF), has been facing multiple operational challenges. Among the principal ones is countering the enemy tactical jet and combat helicopter attack operations, conducted as a rule at low and ultra-low level and often without crossing the highly contested front lines.

Ukrainian Air Force (UkAF) jets are also being involved in regular suppression of enemy air defence (SEAD) operations, unleashing US-supplied anti-radiation missiles on the known surface-to-air missile (SAM) positions as part of co-ordinated attacks on high-value targets, staged together with long-range rockets and artillery.

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