According to sources in Ukraine and a YouTube video, Ukraine’s armed forces have decided to create a new air defense system, or a new ground-to-ground system, by installing Norwegian-donated Mistral VSHORAD missiles on off-road vehicles.
Seen from YouTube, the World News channel shows a photo of a Norwegian Mistral VSHORAD missile system mounted on a pickup truck. The whole system is simply locked to the floor of the pickup load compartment by welding or drilling bolts.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that in late April, the Norwegian government decided to donate to Ukraine Mistral anti-aircraft missile systems used by the Scandinavian navy. Although at the time, this donation seemed rather strange (the donated system was intended for patrol boats and warships), Ukrainians have found ways to integrate the naval version of the Mistral VSHORAD into its land-based variety.
Norway considered Mistral VSHORAD to be the most appropriate donation for Ukrainians. But in reality, Norway plans to replace these systems from the 1990s with new versions. So the question remains whether the missile systems were donated because of Ukraine’s needs or because they have to be lost anyway. Mistral has the following technical data: it weighs 19.7 kg, has an effective operating range of 6 km, the warhead weighs 2.95 kg, and the missile flies at a maximum speed of 800 m / sec.
Against cruise missiles
Of course, the current version of this missile from MDBA has a range of up to 7.5 km, but Norway is unlikely to renew the stocks purchased in the 90s. Therefore, to understand the effectiveness of these weapons, it would be right to focus on the indicators for older versions.
As with many other missiles in this class, an infrared targeting head is used for guidance. The detonation of the missile is possible with a remote laser detonator or contact. Combined with a powerful warhead, this can be a decisive factor in complete destruction, not damage to the target.
At the same time, the question of a “place inline” Mistral arises. First of all, he needs a machine to start. The missiles may be transferred with Sibmad launchers, which will be removed from the ships. Or the armed forces will receive ground launchers separately.
Second, to ensure mobility, the starter must be installed on a mobile platform. At the same time, such an installation will not be effective in the foreground, because the range of Mistral launches is similar to the much less noticeable portable anti-aircraft missile system.
Therefore, according to experts, one of the few effective scenarios for the use of SAM Mistral in Ukraine is the protection against cruise missiles. The fact is that one of the main tasks of Sibmad with Mistral is the destruction of anti-ship missiles, which do not differ much in-flight parameters from cruise missiles.