Soviet «Wasps»: why the US and Ukraine took anti-aircraft complexes of the Soviet era

The Ministry of defence of Jordan intends to retire and sell the 52 anti-aircraft missile complex 9К33 «Wasp» made in the USSR. The armed forces of the Kingdom were planning to upgrade the SAM, however, the funds in the budget for this purpose was not. According to media reports, interest in the deal has already been expressed by Poland, Czech Republic and Ukraine, as well as some American company. As potential buyers can use Soviet military equipment out RT.

Command of the Jordanian army decided to withdraw from the operation of the 52 self-propelled anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM), 9K33 «OSA» in the ongoing restructuring of the Armed forces. This was reported on the website of the authoritative military analysis magazine Jane’s Defence Weekly.

«Wasps» was delivered to Jordan from the Soviet Union in the mid 1980-ies. Informed the war Department of the Kingdom hoped to modernize the Soviet air defense system in Belarus. However, in the budget there were no funds for this purpose. In the end, the Ministry of defense, Jordan decided to put Wasps up for sale.

Potential buyers are Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine and some American company (name not specified. — RT). The newspaper reminds that «Wasps» are in service in Poland and Ukraine, and the Czech Republic operates since 2006. As for America, the Soviet «Wasp» was never in the US army.

9K33 «OSA» is considered one of the most common complexes army air defense. Propelled SAM was exported to about 20 countries of the world: Greece, Bulgaria, GDR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Algeria, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, India, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Mozambique, Nicaragua and Syria.

Since the 1970s, the Soviet Union produced more than 1,200 «OS». The system is designed to provide air defense of ground troops on the March and for the protection of ground objects. 9K33 is capable of hitting aircraft attacking at low and medium altitudes.

Over the past half-century Soviet complex was twice modernized. On the basis of «OSA-AKM» of the Belarusian company «Tetrahedron» and the Kiev design Bureau «Luch» has developed a short range SAM T-38 «Stiletto». However, it is reported that after the events of February, 2014, Minsk has suspended cooperation with Kiev.

The American interest

Founder of the portal Military of Russia Dmitry Kornev called «OSU» efficient and universal means of air defense/missile defense, despite his age. In the conditions of modern warfare the Soviet air defense system capable of shooting down drones and some types of modern cruise missiles.

«If «OSU» to put new radars, electronics and software, you get a modern complex, which is required in a huge number of countries. First of all we are talking about the middle East, Africa, and South America. «OSA» can shoot down drones, but after the upgrade, I assume — guided missiles and bombs,» he told RT Kornev.

The expert believes that Jordan carries out planned replacement of the defense and will likely decide to make money by selling the Soviet air defense system. However interested in acquiring the «OS» side should be able to upgrade them. Otherwise the deal makes no sense.

«Jordan, in fact, sells hardware that require installation of new equipment. United States, Eastern European States and Ukraine can upgrade the hardware. I think there is more commercial interest. Modernized complexes can be quite profitable to resell. The demand for them will be great,» — said Kornev.

The analyst believes that if a deal with Amman will encircle the United States, the Soviet complexes can be transferred loyal to Washington. According to him, the Pentagon practiced purchasing Soviet military equipment, which demonstrates the necessary level of effectiveness at low acquisition costs.

«The Americans produce on its territory, the Kalashnikovs and RPG-7 (antitank grenade launcher). Also, the Pentagon often buys Soviet arms to supply the controlled modes. As example is the procurement of Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan,» said Kornev.

Deputy Director of the Center for analysis of strategies and technologies Konstantin Makienko fears that the interest of the American company may indicate the intention of the Pentagon to transfer the Wasps to illegal armed groups or terrorist organizations.

«Poland and the Czech Republic for their own use, these complexes are definitely not needed. I fear that the United States can buy «Wasps», then to reinforce fighters who have a limited amount of air defense. I can’t say, but another explanation for the interest of Americans, I find,» — said in an interview with RT Makienko.

On the needs of the APU

RT interviewed experts believe that the significant interest to the deal with Jordan is shown not only US, but also Ukraine. APU suffer from a lack of anti-aircraft complexes, break military-technical cooperation with Russia and Belarus. In this respect, Kiev can adopt a retiring Jordan «Wasps».

Inherited from the Soviet Union, Kiev has received hundreds of SAM (different versions of s-125, s-75, s-200 and s-300), but in 2000-e years, about 80% of the Arsenal defense were to fail or were decommissioned.

In mid-November 2015, Secretary of the national security and defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov announced the policy on the recovery of the air system. In the period of 2016-2017 years, Kiev has held several exercises with the use of air defense systems.

But the leadership of Ukraine has still not announced specific measures to revive the air shield. The main difficulty lies in the fact that Kiev is not able to produce the SAM. Technological potential of Ukraine is limited to the repair and modernization of air defense systems. It is known that Kyiv has learned to improve Soviet complex short-range s-125 «Pechora».

However, as Ukrainian experts acknowledge, the restoration of the air defense system requires the procurement of new systems. For obvious reasons, Kiev is not going to request to Russia. Given the experience of Ukraine’s cooperation with NATO, Europe and the United States will either refuse to sell to Kiev the SAM, or suggest a delivery date.

«During the Soviet period Ukraine had not produced anti-aircraft weapons, nor can it do so today. Anti-aircraft are expensive weapons. I don’t think the Ukrainians have the money to buy something new. Therefore, the interest of Kiev can be to bring Jordanian complexes to mind and to keep them,» — said Kornev.

A similar opinion was expressed by Konstantin Makienko. According to him, the deal with Jordan will allow Ukraine to partially close the gap in air defense. For example, thanks to the Soviet air defense system will be able to strengthen the air defense of Ground forces of Ukraine.

«Wasps» is intended to cover the motorized rifle and tank units on the March, although they can cover and static objects. To do any conclusions early, but the Ukrainian army such complexes will be very helpful. If Jordan «Hornets» will be in poor condition, they will go for parts for the APU,» — concluded Makienko.


Soviet «Wasps»: why the US and Ukraine took anti-aircraft complexes of the Soviet era 31.10.2017

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