A report published by Sputnik International says Russia’s S-350 Vityaz surface-to-air missile (SAM) system shot down Ukrainian aircraft in fully automatic mode, without the participation of an operator.
Sputnik quotes a source as saying: “The Vityaz performed the fully automated detection, tracking and destruction of Ukrainian air targets in combat; the surface-to-air missiles downed several Ukrainian warplanes and unmanned aerial vehicles.”
According to the insider, “the automatic mode was implemented on the basis of the principle that a person does not cancel the decisions of the SAM’s artificial intelligence elements within the framework of the emerging air combat situation, namely, an operator just did not interfere in the running of the system, thus confirming the operation algorithm chosen by the machine.”
The source explained that the Vityaz simultaneously worked in active and passive radar modes, something that boosts the SAM’s jamming immunity, as well as its ability to detect and classify targets.
The S-350 Vityaz is a mobile air defense system, which entered service with the Russian armed forces in 2019. The SAM is designed to destroy both ballistic and aerodynamic targets, which include combat aircraft, drones and cruise missiles.
The S-350 has a maximum range up to 120 km (around 75 miles) and it can engage up to 16 targets at an altitude of 30 km (around 18.5 miles), says the report.
Indian Defence Industries describes the S-350 as “armed with highly manoeuvrable 9M96E/E2 missiles, with a top speed of around 5 mach, the S-350 can intercept any kind of aerial targets between 5 m to 30 km of heights”.
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