Good Morning Harry,
This just in from my source in Finland: I send on with no comment, other than I have been unable to verify it
but will obviously try to do so. Very Best Regards to you yours and Sharkhunters worldwide at this most
dangerous of times, MARCONI
Due to the increased tension on the Korean peninsula, a convoy of seven vehicles travelling through a city has
caused some raised eye brows. It is Russian air-defense equipment, allegedly moving through Vladivostok.
The vehicles in question are 9K33 Osa (NATO designation SA-8 GECKO) surface-to-air missile TELARs,
meaning that a single vehicle transport the missiles in their launch containers and is equipped with a radar
allowing it to acquire and fire upon any targets without outside assistance. At least six of the vehicles in the
convoy are Osas, the lead vehicle is too blurry for an accurate identification, and could be a command vehicle.
The 9K33 / SA-8 Gecko series has been widely exported, especially to the Middle East and Africa. While the system is much more complex and expensive than earlier Soviet SAM systems, it has been very popular due its capability to operate with high levels of autonomy. It popularity is such, that many operators have been contracting Tetraedr and Russian manufacturers to perform technology insertion upgrades rather than replace the system with the newer Tor M1/M2 series.
Current operators cited include Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cuba, Ecuador, Georgia, Greece (former DDR inventory), India, Jordan, Libya, Poland, Romania, Russia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Ukraine.