Almaz-Antey has manufactured an advanced variant of the Tor-M2 short-range surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile system, the company’s research and development head Sergei Druzin has announced.
Druzin was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying that the new 9M338 missiles equipped variant features enhanced precision, an extended firing range, increased ammunition-carrying capacity, and has already completed successful testing in October 2013.
"We carried out five launches targeting highly maneuverable drones. Three of the targets were hit head-on, while the other two were destroyed by shrapnel from exploding warheads," Druzin said.
Additional system enhancements are being considered, to enable missile launches at acquired targets while on the move, through elimination of the launcher’s stop time when it is about to fire, according to Druzin, who further noted that new varinat and 9M338 missiles have been approved by a state commission for mass production.
"We can now start producing these missiles in quantities that would meet the demand of the Russian Army," Druzin said.
Originally manufactured by the Soviet Union under the GRAU designation 9K330, Tor is an all-weather low-to-medium altitude missile system, designed to efficiently engage and destroy aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, precision guided munitions, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and short range ballistic targets.
An upgraded variant of the Tor M-1 system, Tor-M2 features enhanced fire control radar coverage, and for guidance channels enabling the operator to guide up to four missiles at one time, and can destroy medium and low flying targets in adverse air and jamming environment.
Both Tor-M1 and Tor-M2U variants, armed with 9M331 missiles, are currently operational with the Russian Army.
Besides Russia, the systems are also in use with Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Egypt, Iran and Venezuela among others.
Image: Tor M2E air defence system being displayed at the MAKS 2009 show in Russia. Photo: courtesy of Allocer.