The war in Ukraine has generated countless videos on social media showing combat between Russia and Ukraine.
However, we all know not all videos are created equal – some have a profound impact on the war, while others are just misinformation or just nonsense.
And some, of course, make your head spin. This is one of those moments.
The Missile Is Coming Right At You
The type of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) employed during the recent encounter wasn’t identified – and though the original poster suggested it was a “kamikaze” drone or loitering munition, others have indicated that it could actually be a SHARK reconnaissance drone based on the type of crosshairs seen in the short video clip.
The SHARK in the Spotlight
Designed for border control, aerial photography, search and rescue operations, and power and gas line inspection; the SHARK Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) is noted to have a full HD sensor, 30x optical and 90x digital zoom, as well as gryo- and digital-stabilization.
It also offers target tracking and anti-fog technology. The SHARK UAS has an 80+ km datalink connection. It has been widely employed as a reconnaissance drone by Kyiv’s forces.
It is unlikely Russia would want to use the video as part of a “sizzle reel” to sell the Tor-M2 – especially as it has attempted to tout its capabilities to wipe out swarms of drones while on the move. In fact, the air defense system seemed stationary and still failed to hit its target from a relatively short distance.
A drone may be a small target, but past Russian state media reports have heralded the Tor M-2 – notably in February when the air defense system was presented at the IDEX 2023 international arms show in Abu Dhabi.
“The engineers who developed the Tor-M2 enabled it to detect complex aerial targets and shoot them down while on the move. The point is that in a real combat environment it is quite difficult to destroy a vehicle when it is on the march. However, if a surface-to-air missile system halts its movement, it is easier to destroy it, considering that there are more than enough weapons for doing that,” Alexander Mikhailov, head of the Military-Political Analysis Bureau, told TASS in advance of the arms show.
Mikhailov further stated that the Tor-M2’s radar was capable of timely spotting and striking all types of drones, in particular, a swarm of small-size UAVs. The system was also designed to shield vital administrative facilities and the first echelons of ground forces against strikes by anti-radiation and cruise missiles, gliding air bombs, aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
“The Tor air defense system can control the designated airspace on its own and independently shoot down all air targets that are not identified by the friend-or-foe system,” the Tass report noted.
The Tor-M2 first debuted in 2007 and is just one of the short-to-medium-range missile systems now employed by Russian forces to take down air targets and precision-guided ordnance. Ukrainian forces have attempted to target the systems in recent months.
Apparently, as seen in the short clip a Tor-M2 missile failed to hit the drone. Russia didn’t say it was a one-shot, one-kill missile, however. But perhaps a full battery could counter a SHARK UAS.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.