TechBelarus tests border defence with powerful polonez missile system

Belarus tests border defence with powerful polonez missile system

Images source: © defence-ua
Przemysław Juraszek

29 June 2024 07:19, updated: 29 June 2024 07:31

Due to the tense situation at the border with Ukraine, Belarus has announced a combat readiness test. Among those being tested is a unit equipped with Polonez systems capable of attacking targets up to 300 kilometres away in just 20 minutes. We explain what Belarusian Polonez systems are.

According to the portal Defense Express, the Belarusian Ministry of Defence published a recording with a comment from the commander of the unit equipped with Polonez systems. The commander admitted that the unit is capable of attacking any target within 300 kilometres in just 20 minutes.

The combat readiness test is a response to alleged reconnaissance activities by the Russian Volunteer Corps operating in Ukraine. According to Belarus, its members use drones to conduct reconnaissance of industrial and infrastructure facilities on the Belarusian side. The data was obtained from a drone that was shot down by one of the Belarusian border guards.

Polonez system - long-range rocket artillery developed with the help of China

The Belarusian armed forces are more of a post-Soviet weapons museum, but there are a few exceptions. One of them is the Polonez system, introduced into service in 2016, which is a modern successor to the Soviet BM-30 Smerch systems.

As Łukasz Michalik, a journalist from WP, wrote, Polonez was developed in cooperation with China, from which Belarus obtained the rights for licensed production of A200 family missiles. These are constructions with a 300 mm calibre equipped with a tandem of inertial and satellite navigation, which, depending on the version, allows for engaging targets at distances of 200 to 300 kilometres with a circular error probable of about 30 metres.

They represent a tremendous progress over previous unguided systems and are housed in hermetically sealed launch containers. The Polonez fire unit consists of eight missiles. It is mounted on the eight-wheeled MZKT-7930 Astrolog chassis. This is not the end of its capabilities, as there is also a Polonez-M variant equipped with a ballistic missile containing a larger warhead weighing 480 kilograms.

Besides Belarus, another user of this dangerous system is Azerbaijan, which employed it during the war with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020. It is a weapon with significant capabilities, which should not be underestimated.

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