Ukrainian HIMARS artillery rockets humiliate Putin by destroying prized S-400 SAM

Ukrainian HIMARS artillery reportedly destroyed Russia’s most advanced surface-to-air missile system.

The Clash Report says the Ukrainian army has blown up the 5P85SM2-01 Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) and 92N2E multi-functional radar, part of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile (SAM) using HIMARS rocket artillery.

The S-400’s real-world tracking range doesn’t quite live up to the brochure figure, as demonstrated in Ukraine with S-400’s inability to handle Mach 2.5 HIMARS rockets despite having more than 90 seconds engagement window on paper. If it has so much trouble handling Mach 2.5 HIMARS rockets.

According to the report, the newest surface-to-air missile system was destroyed by GMLRS strikes.

“The crew was reportedly killed,” the message added.

The S-400 (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is a mobile, surface-to-air missile (SAM) system developed in the late 1990s by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering as an upgrade to the S-300 family.

The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of up to 400km and at an altitude of up to 30km.

The S-400 is one of the most controversial air defense systems in the world currently.

About S-400 SAM

The S-400 missile system integrates a fire control radar, illumination radar, VHF radar, interceptor missile, launchers, and command and control centre. The S-400 SAM system has four missile variants: 40N6 missile (400 km), 48N6 missile (250 kilometers), 9M96E2 missile (120km) and 9M96E missile (40 km).

Based on the customer’s order, the S-400 system comes with the Gamma-C1E SHF, Nebo-M VHF and the Resonance-NE mobile radar station for early warning radars and high-altitude radar coverage. The Russian propagandists claim that these are AESA radar, but these high-frequency antennas were manufactured in the early 2000s. There is nothing solid-state electronics about Russia’s defence industries that would produce AESA radar. Visit for an in-depth article about ‘Why Russia cannot manufacture AESA radar?’.

Soviet-era S-400 SAM can be detected by small drones as it’s engine smokes are visible from distances.

The S-400’s large 92N6E X-band radar has trouble tracking an incoming missile. How well would the tiny seeker-head on 48N6E3 and 40N6 SAMs face? The most common type of missile, the 48N6E series, doesn’t even have active guidance and continue to rely on semi-active radar homing, which puts them at a distinct disadvantage against a ballistic missile (or Hypersonic target) compared to the likes of Patriot’s interceptor with active-guidance and a dual-mode seeker (combining active-homing with ground-based target illumination). None of the S-400’s missiles are known to have dual-mode seekers.

All long-range missiles of S-400 (48N6E & 40N6) suffer from the exact problem. A large warhead will not compensate for a missile detonating at significantly longer distances from a ballistic missile (poor accuracy) since the size of the shrapnel cloud doesn’t work well against an incoming ballistic target hardened to withstand re-entry into the atmosphere. It just makes reliably intercepting ballistic missiles far more complex.

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