This year the Southern military district of Russia will be equipped with the new generation of surface-to-air BUK-3M missiles. According to the Russian TASS news agency, this was stated by the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Ground Forces, Colonel-General Oleg Salyukov.
“As a part of strengthening of the ground forces the air-defense units will be equipped with modern missile systems. And these are in particular BUK-3M surface-to-air missile systems capable of engaging up to 6 air targets simultaneously. One of the brigades of the Southern military districts will receive these systems as early as this year," Salyukov said at a press conference.
The new surface-to-air system is the next in the generation of BUK class missile systems. Russian military analysts believe that this is the most effective surface-to-air missile systems currently available in the world.
In the summer of 2016, Russian state-owned concern Almaz-Antey conducted the first successful test of BUK-M3 missile at the Kapustin Yar rocket launch site near the city of Astrakhan. The new model of the missile considerably exceeds the capabilities of the previous models of BUK missile systems. The weight of the carrier part of the rocket has been reduced by almost 50 percent thus increasing the weight of the payload by almost half. The specifications of the new BUK-3M rocket are still unknown but its predecessors can strike targets at the range of 3-45 kilometers and altitudes from 15 meters to 25 kilometers. It is capable of destroying ballistic missiles with a range of 150-300 kilometers.
In July 2016, the Crimea became a part of the Russian Southern district by a decree of Russian president Vladimir Putin. The Southern district also includes such Russian regions as Adygea, Kalmykia, Krasnodar Krai as well as Astrakhan, Volgograd and Rostov regions.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Southern military district is a former Commander of the Russia’s Syrian operation, Alexander Dvornikov.