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Patriot competitor: Defense Ministry hints at Koral SAM capable of intercepting ballistic missiles

Patriot competitor: Defense Ministry hints at Koral SAM capable of intercepting ballistic missiles Defense Ministry hints at Koral SAM capable of intercepting ballistic missiles (Photo:

Among the main priorities of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine for 2024 is the strengthening of Ukraine's air defense, including the production of anti-aircraft missile systems like Koral.

What is currently known about the Koral anti-aircraft missile system - in the material by RBC-Ukraine.

During the preparation of the material, sources such as the interview with the Director-General of the State Kyiv Design Bureau "Luch," Oleg Korosteliov, publications from the Defense Express portal, and the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine were used.

Is the Ministry of Defense hinting?

Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Lieutenant General Ivan Havryliuk mentioned that it is too early to speak about parity with Russia in armaments. This issue is already being addressed, and among the main tasks for 2024 are the development of the defense industry complex and a significant increase in the production of missiles, ammunition, weapons, and military equipment. This includes strengthening Ukraine's air defense.

According to Havryliuk, the main focus will be on producing air defense systems, from portable anti-aircraft missile systems to air defense systems with a range of over 100 kilometers, such as the Koral anti-aircraft missile system.

What is known about the Koral anti-aircraft missile system?

The State Kyiv Design Bureau "Luch" began working on the project in 2016. The first model of the guided anti-aircraft missile of the Koral system was demonstrated in 2021, along with other products of the state enterprise.

As the Director-General of the State Kyiv Design Bureau "Luch," Oleg Korosteliov, explained, one of the features of Koral is the use of refined and proven components during development. The missile's capabilities include:

  • Flight range: 30-40 kilometers.
  • Length: 4.33 meters.
  • Maximum diameter: 260 mm.
  • Weight: 300 kg, with 25 kg accounting for the warhead.
  • Altitude: The "brochures" then specified it at 10 kilometers.

Due to its universality, с can be used from both land and sea platforms, including attaching it to aircraft as an "air-to-air" missile.

During the "Arms and Security-21" exhibition, it was revealed that "Luch" was working on a line of anti-aircraft missile systems with ranges of:

  • 10 kilometers.
  • 30-40 kilometers.
  • 100 kilometers.

As of mid-2021, the head of the "Luch" Design Bureau stated that the readiness of the medium-range complex is approximately 70%.

Photo: "Arms and Security-21 (

Ground version

As reported by Defense Express, the ground version of Koral corresponds to the concept of a light mobile anti-aircraft missile system with a "small-medium" range of action. The system can be assigned to cover specific objects, such as airbases, ports, industrial centers, and more.


The technical characteristics of the missile allow it to be used as an "air-to-air" missile due to its small mass and length. For example, the rocket for the Su-27, depending on the version, has a weight of up to 350 kilograms and a length of up to 4.8 meters. In integrating with a fighter, the missile's flight range can increase.

What targets can it hit?

Koral can destroy aerodynamic targets like helicopters, aircraft, and UAVs. The missile can also be used against ballistic missiles or ground and surface targets.

What currently protects Ukraine from ballistic missiles

The main problem with ballistic missiles (such as Iskanders or Kinzhals) is that they fly almost vertically at enormous speeds in the final stage. Because of these conditions, systems like NASAMS, IRIS-T, or Ukrainian S-300 complexes cannot effectively counteract them.

The principle of action of anti-aircraft missiles is to detonate near the interception object. In this case, a ballistic rocket receives only partial damage. Still, its heavy warhead can achieve the necessary impact even if it deviates tens of meters from the target.

There are not enough means of defense against ballistic missiles to protect the entire country. As of November, the following systems are on combat duty:

  • One SAMP-T system.
  • Two Patriot divisions.

Moreover, the delivery of another Patriot complex from Germany is expected.

Against the background of how Patriot dispelled the myth of the impossibility of intercepting Kinzhals, there is currently no information on the SAMP-T system's operation results. As explained by the former Deputy Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff of Ukraine, Igor Romanenko, France and Italy do not want to disclose such information.