02 June 2020
The government of Belarus is pushing increased self-reliance in missile technology, the State Authority for Military Industries (SAMI) announced on 27 May.
The news followed on from a visit by president Aleksandr Lukashenko to the OKB TSP facility in Machulishchi near Minsk on 22 May, during which a number of missile systems and their role in the Belarusian defence industry were discussed.
The country has been working on assembling the Polonez-M missile system developed with China, Lukashenko was told, to which the president responded, “We need our own missile. If we have to rely on other countries to produce a certain weapon, we should not produce such a weapon. No one will simply give away such a weapon to us. We were lucky to strike a deal with the Chinese; we really appreciate their help. However, we should not depend on anyone anymore,” Belarus news agency BelTA reported.
The modernised 9K33 (SA-8 ‘Gecko’) variant of the Osa ground-to-air missile system developed by Belarus features a new transport-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicle, based on a MAZ-6317 truck chassis that is designated 9A33-2B.
Other work undertaken by the Belarus defence industry highlighted during Lukashenko’s visit included the extension of the range of the Polonez-M multiple launch rocket artillery system from 200 to 300 km, development of the Buk-MB3 surface-to-air missile system and its 9M318 missile, and the Belarus-developed truck-mounted variant of the 9K33 Osa (NATO reporting name SA-8 ‘Gecko’).
A prototype of an extended range Polonez-M missile system, which has a 300 km range, is expected to be ready in September. Testing is potentially taking place in China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, or Saudi Arabia, BelTA reported.
The government of Belarus is pushing increased self-reliance in missile technology, the State Author...