Russia has started deliveries of the latest Verba man-portable air-defence systems (MANPADS) equipped with an automated fire control system to its airborne forces.
Russian military spokesman Yevgeny Meshkov was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying that the Ivankvsky Airborne Forces division's surface to air-missile (SAM) regiment is the first to take the delivery and start studying the modern air defence battle system.
The system is claimed to be capable of automatically providing information on the air environment, fix the target and command a strike against the airborne target within several seconds.
Meshkov said, "This gives time to an AA sniper armed with the Verba MANPADS to prepare for the meeting and hit the target beforehand."
In addition to this, the system is designed to exclude the human factor, while saving ammunition and increasing the effectiveness of air-defence sub-elements.
"An automated control system over the battle allows finding an air target, defining its characteristics and sharing targets between AA snipers and fire means, taking into consideration their location," Meshkov added.
Meanwhile, SAM regiment commander colonel Andrei Musiyenko said the modern air defence battles are mobile and dynamic confrontations involving the usage of aerial warfare weapons, and demand advanced armament and operational control.
"Until now, the control over air defense battle in Airborne Forces divisions was not automated and the time elapsed following the major commander finding the target and ordering an AA sniper to launch the missile took from three to five minutes," Musiyenko said.
The newly delivered systems have increased the speed of air defence battles by more than ten times, according to the news agency.