Highlights

  • S-300 missile fell in Poland, sparked fears of wider war
  • S-300 Russian-made surface-to-air missile defence system
  • China copied S-300 design, sold it to Pakistan military

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Ukraine war: Pakistan link to missile which hit Poland, sparked World War 3 fears | Russia S-300

The S-300 is a made-in-Russia surface-to-air missile system. It is meant to defend against aerial attacks by enemies.

The recent missile crash in Poland put the entire world on edge. Here's a look at the missile which possibly brought Earth to the brink of another World War, and its link to Pakistan and China.


S-300 MISSILE SYSTEM

The missile which fell in a Polish village on 15 November was an S-300. It is being used by both Russia and Ukraine in the ongoing war.

The S-300 is a made-in-Russia surface-to-air missile system. It is meant to defend against aerial attacks by enemies. Multiple variants have been developed over the years with different specs and features. The S-300P, also known as the SA-10 Grumble, was developed by the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 70s, and is used only for air defence.

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A later variant, the S-300V, got the capability to shoot down incoming ballistic missiles. The S-300V is also known as the SA-23A Gladiator or the SA-23B Giant. The S-300V is considered similar to America's Patriot missile system. The latest version of the S-300 is the Antey-2500 which has greater range than its cousins.

Let's take a look at the S-300's destructive capabilities.


S-300's POWER

The S-300P packs an explosive weighing 133-143 kg, while the S-300V has a 150 kg warhead. The S-300P has a minimum range of 25 km and a maximum range of 150 km. The S-300V has a range between 6 and 100 km. The Antey-2500 has a maximum range of 350 km.

The missiles are launched from a ground-based unit which is mobile. The system works by shooting missiles at incoming enemy aircraft, drones, and missiles. It has detection radar to track incoming targets, and guidance systems to latch onto the targets. Multiple missiles can be fired simultaneously at various targets.

The S-300 missile system has also made its way to India's neighbourhood.


THE CHINA, PAKISTAN LINK

Russia has, in the past, sold S-300 missiles to China, among other countries. Subsequently, China developed its own system heavily based on the S-300. Beijing then sold its duplicated missile system to Pakistan. The Pakistani military inducted the HIMADS HQ-P9 system into its arsenal in October 2021. The HQ-P9 is claimed to have range of around 100 km while defending against enemy planes, missiles, and drones.

Poland has said that the missile which fell on its land appears to have been made in the Soviet era. Soon after the missile crash, Ukraine claimed that the weapon was fired by Russia, and it was an escalation of the war. This sparked fears of US and other nuclear powers actively entering the war. The situation was defused after the anti-Russia NATO alliance said that the missile was probably a stray Ukrainian defensive missile.

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