Russian forces based near Norway and Finland get a new air defense system

A motorized rifle brigade of the Northern Fleet's based in Pechenga have acquired the Barnaul-T air defense system.

The Barnaul-T C2 system is carried by MT-LBu armored vehicles. (Northern Fleet via The Independent Barents Observer)

Servicemen from the 200th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade of Russia’s Northern Fleet spent four months in the training field of Yeisk in southern Russia to learn to handle the Barnaul-T air defense system. This week, they used their new acquired skills in one of the shooting ranges in Pechenga, a few kilometers from the border to Norway and Finland.

“We have been waiting a long time for this equipment,” says Anatoly Raskevich, head of a local missile calculation unit, told Army broadcaster TV Zvezda. “We are very happy and satisfied that we have acquired this technology and can work properly with the combat machines and the command point,” he added.

The Barnaul-T enables the local units to significantly enhance their air space surveillance and track down flying enemy objects. That includes drones, local instructors explain.

“With the help of the radar-location equipment installed in this technology we can detect the target, and the target becomes visible on the screen, and the commander shares the information with the combat machines that subsequently can execute elimination or tracking,” says Aleksandr Bychenkov, commander of a missile division.

The system has now been deployed in the brigade, according to the press service of the Russian Armed Forces. The new equipment provides enhanced management efficiency of forces and air defense units, and better coordination of their action, enhanced mobility and the improved persistence of equipment in a battle situation, the Armed Forces explain.

The local Barnaul-T system is carried by MT-LBu, the amphibious auxiliary armored tracked vehicles.

According to Janes, the defense and intelligence magazine, the vehicles carrying the Barnaul-T system were first revealed in a 2019 defense and security exhibition. Since then, the system has been deployed in several key units in the Russian Armed Forces.

The 200th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade is part of the Northern Fleet’s 14th Army Corps and is based in Pechenga, on the Kola Peninsula.