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Belarus scraps obsolete portable air defense systems

RIA Novosti

08/12/2008 15:17 MINSK, December 8 (RIA Novosti) - Belarus has destroyed its remaining 15 Strela-2M portable air defense systems under an agreement with a European security body, the Defense Ministry said on Monday.

The scrapping procedure had been carried out by a special demolition unit in the presence of experts from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

"Belarus has fulfilled its obligations under an agreement with the OSCE," the ministry said in a statement.

Belarus had 29 Strela-2M air defense systems in service with the army. They were removed from operation in 2002. Fourteen systems were scrapped in 2005.

The Soviet-made 9K32M Strela-2M (SA-7 Grail) is a man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude surface-to-air missile system with a high-explosive warhead and passive infrared homing guidance. It is broadly comparable to the U.S. Army FIM-43 Redeye.

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