Verba – The Combat Proven MANPADS of the Latest Generation

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The Verba man-portable air defence system (MANPADS) is designed to defeat visible fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and cruise missiles on head-on and pursuit courses under intensive optical interference. It has been reported that the MANPADS has attracted a great deal of interest internationally due to its recent combat experience.

Verba MANPADS is the latest Russian MANPADS with enhanced capabilities when firing at targets with low levels of thermal radiation and a reduced consumption of missiles when destroying various targets.

Verba is claimed to be the world’s first MANPADS with the unique infrared three-spectral seeker being operational within the ultraviolet, near-infrared and mid-infrared ranges to ensure maximum information about the target. The extended missile sensitivity increases the range of capture of airborne objects. In this case, the head automatically identifies false thermal targets and selects a real object based on a number of characteristics.

As such, Verba features a true implementation of the “fire-and-forget” principle with the added attributes of high protection against modern types of interference and other countermeasures.

The Verba’s destruction range is up to 6,000 m, altitude is from 10 to 3,500 m, and the speed of targets hit is up to 400 m/s. Preparation time for shooting – up to 12 s. The system’s combat assets can work in conjunction with automated target designation systems, which make it possible to provide the anti-aircraft gunner with target data from higher-level control equipment and autonomous detection equipment.

The Verba MANPADS is a full-fledged system, which in addition to the missile in the launch tube, also includes a launch mechanism, a ground-based radar system for interrogating friend or foe, maintenance equipment and training equipment.

Produced by High Precision Weapons Holding – part of the Rostec Corporation, the Verba MANPADS systems can also be supplemented with small-sized radar stations, various planning, reconnaissance and control modules, as well as target designation equipment.

It was reported March 17 that a Verba (Willow) missile system crew have downed an enemy Mi-8 helicopter in the Sumy Region, which was flying towards the village of Kozinki during an “insurgent” incursion into Russia’s Belgorod border Region.

This was the first time the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) have officially confirmed a helicopter interception by the Verba system. Earlier at different stages of the conflict it has reported on the interception and destruction of UAVs and manned fixed-wing aircraft.

Previously on 30 Sept 2022, Krasnaya Zvezda, the official newspaper of the Russian MoD, reported that one-third of enemy fighter jets were shot down by both Igla-S and Verba MANPADS operators in the ongoing Ukraine conflict.

It was also reported that throughout 2023, the MoD Telegram channel had repeatedly published news on the interception UAVs by Verba MANPADS.

Apart from the ongoing Ukraine conflict, several aircraft, including military aircraft and drones, were reportedly shot down during the Syrian conflict, some by MANPADS. –adj/mhi (Photo: Rostec Corporation)