Soldiers of the Ukrainian 10th Mountain Assault Brigade engage a Russian Su-25 ground attack fighter with a SA-18 man-portable surface-to-air missile. The plane enters the field of view from the left, flying low over the horizon. The Ukrainian gunner takes his shot and the missile arcs high in the air before diving and intercepting the target.


The SA-18 is a Soviet-era system that has received several upgrades over the last three decades. With a range of six kilometers, a ceiling of three-and-a-half kilometers, and infra-red (heat-seeking) capability. This allows MANPADS to engage low-flying aircraft that evade more capable systems, such as the S-300. The infrared tracking system in many MANPADS can be defeated through countermeasures, such as flares, but the Su-25 in this video takes no such action. Though Ukraine is currently incapable of achieving parity in the air, their multi-layered air-defense system has denied the Russians air-supremacy and rendered attempts to provide close air support (CAS) to Russian units a risky proposition.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Cam

Cam served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, deploying to the Horn of Africa and participating in combat operations in Iraq. He currently works in the maritime industry and in the defense sector as an instructor of combined arms planning and operations. An avid sailor, Cam founded and directs a nonprofit that supports veterans and first responders through sailing.

Published 9 months ago

Soldiers of the Ukrainian 10th Mountain Assault Brigade engage a Russian Su-25 ground attack fighter with a SA-18 man-portable surface-to-air missile. The plane enters the field of view from the left, flying low over the horizon. The Ukrainian gunner takes his shot and the missile arcs high in the air before diving and intercepting the target.


The SA-18 is a Soviet-era system that has received several upgrades over the last three decades. With a range of six kilometers, a ceiling of three-and-a-half kilometers, and infra-red (heat-seeking) capability. This allows MANPADS to engage low-flying aircraft that evade more capable systems, such as the S-300. The infrared tracking system in many MANPADS can be defeated through countermeasures, such as flares, but the Su-25 in this video takes no such action. Though Ukraine is currently incapable of achieving parity in the air, their multi-layered air-defense system has denied the Russians air-supremacy and rendered attempts to provide close air support (CAS) to Russian units a risky proposition.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Cam

Cam served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, deploying to the Horn of Africa and participating in combat operations in Iraq. He currently works in the maritime industry and in the defense sector as an instructor of combined arms planning and operations. An avid sailor, Cam founded and directs a nonprofit that supports veterans and first responders through sailing.

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