KBM unveils decoy-resistant Verba MANPADS

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Key Points

  • New multispectral seeker enables clearer, faster discrimination between targets and decoys
  • Enhancements extend the missile’s engagement envelope by a factor of 2.5

Russia’s Konstruktorskoye Byuro Mashinostroyeniya (KBM) unveiled its next-generation 9K333 Verba (Willow) man-portable air defence system (MANPADS) at the Army-2015 International Military-Technical Forum in Kubinka.

KBM designer General Valeriy Mikhaylovics Kashin said the Verba system significantly improves upon the accuracy and performance of the earlier 9K338 Igla-S (SA-24/Grouse) MANPADS, primarily through the integration of a new multispectral optical seeker, which uses three sensors – ultraviolet, near-infrared, and mid-infrared – as opposed to the dual-waveband infrared used in the Igla-S system. Kashin said the multispectral sensor enables faster discrimination between appropriate targets and decoys, and decreases the chance of disruption from infrared countermeasures, including high-power flares and lasers.

The Verba’s kinematic kill range remains practically the same as the Igla-S (slant range up to 6,000 m (19,680 ft) and altitudes of up to 3,500 m) but KBM said the engagement envelope has been extended by a factor of 2.5, and protection from high-power flares improved by a factor of 10. The company says that these improvements optimise the use of the missile’s energy consumption with lower quantities of missiles now required to defeat an aerial target and deliver a general increase in performance by a factor of 1.5 to 2.

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