Thanks to the latest delivery by the Kalashnikov company, the Russian Ground Forces continue to replenish their stocks of 9M333 anti-aircraft missiles intended to be used by the Strela-10M3 air defense systems. This was pointed out by the state consortium Rostec in a statement issued on May 24th.

Although no further details were provided, both Kalashnikov and Rostec highlighted that this new batch of guided anti-aircraft missiles (or ZUR for its Russian acronym) corresponds to the order placed for the year 2024 by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. A similar delivery of this type of guided weaponry took place during October of the year 2023. However, as in that instance, the consortia did not provide more details other than reporting the delivery and some technical characteristics of the 9M333.

The 9M333 is a short-range guided anti-aircraft missile currently designed and manufactured by the Russian company Kalashnikov, used to counter low-altitude flying aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. It can engage targets at altitudes ranging from 10 to 3500 meters, with a 2.6-kilogram explosive warhead. Widely used in the Ground Forces, it is currently employed by various mobile air defense systems such as the Strela-10 and its derivatives.

Regarding the Strela-10 (designated by NATO as SA-13 “Gopher”) which utilizes the 9M333 missiles, it is a Soviet-origin air defense system still in service with the Russian Ground Forces. Although various replacement projects have been devised over the years, the Strela still remains in use, with its deployment reported in the Ukrainian conflict. One of its future replacements is the so-called Ptitselov anti-aircraft system, which utilizes the 9M337 Sosna-R missile launching system, for the Russian Airborne Forces.

One notable detail from the May 24th statement is that the missile deliveries would be destined for the “M3” version of the Strela-10. According to data sources, this variant of the Gopher incorporates improvements to counter cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Finally, Kalashnikov expressed that: “The 9M333 ZUR has been produced in the Kalashnikov Corporation since 2020 and has proven to be highly effective in special military operations conditions during the execution of combat tasks, as evidenced by the increase in the state defense order for the year 2024.”

*Photographs used for illustrative purposes.

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