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KOSOVO CRISIS: WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST.

By DAVID PILDITCH

NATO forces face a deadly threat from Serbia's sophisticated weapon systems, making missions far more dangerous than December's strikes on Iraq.

AIR DEFENCE

Two thousand SAM ground-to-air missile launchers. Latest SAM-6 multiple launcher is highly mobile with recently upgraded built-in radar. Eight missile battalions with older SAM-2 and SAM-3 launchers.

Hi-tech jamming equipment which can stop RAF and US pilots' laser and radar pinpointing targets. Fifteen anti-aircraft regiments with 2,000 guns.

Batteries of SAM-9 and SAM-13 tactical systems on wheels and tracks, plus SAM-7, 16 and 18 single shot shoulder launched missiles, self-propelled anti-aircraft guns.

ARMY

Total of 85,000 troops with up to 47,000 personnel based in Kosovo region. Can draw on 200,000 reservists. Forces in Kosovo include 16,000 heavily armed police including anti-terrorist and combat units.

ARMOUR

The 1,300 mainly Russian-built machines include 65 Soviet T-72s, with another 239 updated T-72s featuring latest equipment. Bulk of the force - 785 tanks - are old T-55 1940s design but said by experts to be "highly effective". Also 181 older T-34 Russian-built tanks.

Army also has 570 armoured fighting vehicles, 1,300 heavy artillery and 63 armoured Gazelle helicopters.

AIR FORCE

Eighty fighters including 15 MiG-29s, 17 MiG-21Us and 47 Mig21Fs. The MiG 29 is a modern Russian jet which can fly at twice the speed of sound. Armed with cannon and "smart" missiles, it can take on NATO's best.

The MiG-21 is a 1960s defence fighter described as "old but still capable".

Four ground attack squadrons and two reconnaissance squadrons.

NAVY

Four Russian built submarines and four frigates with surface to air and surface to surface missiles. No match for Nato ships, destroyers and submarines.
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Article Details
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Author:Pilditch, David
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 25, 1999
Words:282
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