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Vietnam buys Israeli-made air defense missile system, radar

Friday, October 30, 2015, 20:01 GMT+7

Vietnam has ordered an Israeli-made air defense missile system to enhance its air defense capacity, a senior military official said on the portal of the Vietnam People's Army last week.

The Air Defense and Air Force Service of Vietnam has actively carried out many projects to improve the durability and capacity of its weapons and technical equipment, Lieutenant General Le Huy Vinh, Commander of the Air Defense and Air Force Service, said in an article published on the website on October 20.

According to the article on building a modern air defense and air force service to protect the national airspace, the Air Defense and Air Force Service is gradually investing in advanced weapons and technical equipment.

They include many new radar systems like the ELM-2288/ER air defense radar, the 36D6 radar system, and the Kolchuga passive early warning radar, the article reads.

The first radar system is produced by Israel Aerospace Industries, while the remaining systems are manufactured in Ukraine.

The article also mentioned new air-defense weapons and aircraft, including surface-to-air Python and Derby (SPYDER) missiles, S-300PMU1 and S-125-2TM, multifunctional fighter Su-30MK2, and twin-turboprop tactical military transport aircraft Casa-295.

The Air Defense and Air Force Service of Vietnam has also ordered intelligence management systems like VQ 98-01, VQ-1M, and VQ-2, and has joined forces with military-run telecom firm Viettel Group to research and manufacture many other radar systems like RV-D1, VRS-S, and VRS-W.

The news that the Israeli-made air defense missile system SPYDER has been listed by Lt. Gen. Vinh among what the Air Defense and Air Force Service will acquire can be considered a logical development after the service launched an English course for its units assigned to receive, manage and exploit these new weapons and equipment in Hanoi in April this year.

The English course took take place almost simultaneously with the introduction of several stations equipped with Israeli-manufactured long-range radar system ELM-2288/ER.

However the article did not provide any confirmation on whether the SPYDER version Vietnam has ordered is short-range, the SPYDER-SR, or the medium-range, SPYDER-MR variant, or both.

SPYDER is a system of advanced short-range and medium-range air defense missiles developed and manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.

The system is designed to destroy airborne targets such as aircraft, cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) 24/7 in any weather conditions, according to Rafael.

SPYDER can react very quickly to threats, as all components of the system are located on the Tatra truck chassis produced by the Czech Republic, the Israeli firm said.

It uses two types of surface-to-air missiles: the short-range Python-5 and medium-range Derby, all manufactured by Rafael.

Python-5 and Derby can travel at Mach 4 speed, or over 4,900 kilometers per hour when launched, and have a maximum range of 15 kilometers and 35 kilometers with their 11-kilogram and 23-kilogram warheads, respectively.

The standard composition of a SPYDER includes one command and control vehicle, six launchers with 24 missiles, a missile supplying truck and a service vehicle.

Vietnam is currently deploying multiple Russian-made air-defense missile systems like S-300PMU1, S-125-2TM to replace older versions like Strela-10 and S-75m.

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