12:05 GMT +320 November 2019
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    Missile launch from an Osa antiaircraft missile system (File)

    WATCH US Conduct Drills Using Mock-Up Models of Russian Osa, Tor Air Defences

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    American troops used vehicles styled after Russian air defence systems to regain the skills necessary to counter them - which were largely forgotten following the end of the Cold War, the Defence Blog explained.

    The US military has practised striking ground targets from the air during the Southern Strike drills using vehicles styled after automatic air defence systems that were developed by the USSR, but are partially used still in service in Russia — the Osa (Russian for Wasp; NATO codename: SA-8 Gecko) and Tor (Russian for Thor; NATO codename: SA-15 Gauntlet). The US AH-64 Apache was participating on the US side in the simulation, delivering a strike, according to a video published by the Defence Blog.

    The website reported that the US military has been renewing its skills at countering Russian weaponry, which were partially forgotten following the end of the Cold War, but which are now considered necessary due to recent tensions between Washington and Moscow.

    READ MORE: Russia's S-400, Pantsir-S Air Defense Systems to Get Major AI Boost

    It's unclear though why the Osa air defence system mock-up was picked for the drills, as it's poorly suited to counter attack helicopters and thus not used for this purpose. Both systems were developed around 50 years ago and have been largely replaced with newer ones, such as the Pantsir S-1 and S-2 (NATO reporting name SA-22 Greyhound).

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    Tags:
    military drills, Osa missile system, Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile defense system, United States, Russia
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