Review of weapons being used in the Russo-Ukrainian war

What weapons are being used by Russia and Ukraine in the war?

Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine began on February 24 with attacks from land, sea and air, according to Reuters news agency.

During the first week of the campaign, Russia switched from a strategic attack on military targets with cruise missiles to a ground attack and conducted sieges throughout the cities. massive, including rocket artillery and cluster bombardment.

The following are some of the weapons that Russian and Ukrainian troops used in the conflict.

Targeted missile combat

In the first hours of the operation, cruise missiles were widely deployed and short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) were fired continuously. According to US estimates, on the first day of the operation, Russia launched 100 missiles from land and sea.

According to expert Timothy Wright of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Russia may have used only regular SRBMs and short-range mobile ballistic missile systems (Iskander-M) for bombardment during the campaign.

On the Ukrainian side, much older ballistic missiles are in limited supply, like the OTR-21 Tochka. In the first days of the war, Ukraine used at least one missile to hit a Russian airbase in Russian territory.

Ukraine’s OTR-21 Tochka missile. Photo: WIKIPEDIA

According to the IISS, Russia’s Iskander-M has a greater range than the Tochka and its launchers can carry more than one missile. Each Iskander launcher has armor for the rocket and its cabin is tough to withstand high temperatures, chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear hazards. The vehicle carrying the Iskander-M can overcome all terrains and travel at speeds of up to 70 km/h for 1,100 km.

Russia’s 9K720 Iskander ballistic missile system has a range of about 400-500m. Photo: PINTEREST

The Iskander-M has a circular error (CEP) of 5-7 m, As for Ukraine’s Tochka missile, the CEP is 90 m. Obviously, Russian missiles are many times more accurate than Ukrainian weapons of the same type.

On March 25, Ukraine’s military command said that areas near the cities of Sumy, Poltava and Mariupol in the country were fired by Russia’s 3M14 Kalibr cruise missiles from the Black Sea.

The Kalibr is a land-attack cruise missile (LACM) with an estimated range of 1,500 km to 2,500 km. For precision attacks, its exact CEP has not yet been accurately measured but is estimated to be less than 5 m.

Model of Kalibr 3M14 missile. Photo: NAVAL POST

Illustrated is the Kalibr 3M14 – a Russian land-attack cruise missile with an estimated range of 1,500 km to 2,500 km that has become the mainstay of the Russian Navy’s ground attack capabilities.

The Kalibr 3M14 missile is launched from the ship. Photo: CSIS

However, some Russian airstrikes on air bases appear to be less effective and there are cases of missed important targets such as hitting aircraft in storage rather than aircraft in service. .

Ukraine has the Russian-made S-300v air defense missile system dating back to the Cold War, and the system is also capable of combating ballistic missiles. However, it remains unclear whether any Russian missiles were involved, and several Ukrainian S-300v systems appear to have been destroyed by the airstrikes.


Ground warfare

On the two main fronts in the east and north, Russia has so far been unable to show momentum due to the resistance of major cities, such as those in Kiev and Kharkiv. The Ukrainian people have joined in supporting the regular army to repel the Russian advance, including through civilian defense units and militias around the country.

Homemade petrol bombs. Photo: AP

The guerrillas in the cities used homemade weapons and tools to resist the Russians. Specifically, people used petrol bombs as a barrier to block the advance of Russia. The US and European countries have supplied Ukraine with a variety of weapons, including advanced weapons that can destroy armored vehicles. These missiles can be especially effective in urban environments because of the many hiding places to ambush.

Among these weapons are the NLAW – a new generation anti-tank missile system jointly developed by Britain and Sweden, and the FGM-148 Javelin – an American light missile system that can destroy tanks from a distance. few kilometers.

Ukrainian soldiers practice using NLAW hand-held anti-tank missile weapons. Photo: TWITTER

There are many photos taken from Ukraine showing destroyed Russian military vehicles, including tanks. This has raised questions about logistics along with campaign effectiveness. An unnamed US defense official said that Russian troops do not have much experience moving over another country with the complexity and size of Ukraine.

Another weapon that has also become important to the Ukrainians in their war is the Bayraktar TB2 combat drone. This is a Turkish-made drone that can carry small anti-armor weapons.

Ukraine’s Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aircraft. Photo: MILITARY LEAK

Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey – Mr. Vasyl Bodnar said that the drones are very effective. There are many videos posted by the Ukrainian military that show them being used to destroy vehicles in a Russian military convoy.

According to the manufacturer, this type of drone has a wingspan of 12 m, a range of 15 km, can carry small anti-vehicle weapons, possibly bombs, smart micro-munitions Roketsan MAM-L. laser beam to the target. The bombs weigh only 22kg but are designed with a small charge to penetrate armor and destroy a military vehicle.

siege tactics

Russia has changed its strategy from attacking Ukraine’s defenses directly to encirclement in recent days. Russian forces warned Kiev residents to leave their homes before shelling the city and dropping rockets on Kharkiv.

Kharkiv region head Oleg Synegubov said Russian missile strikes hit the center of Ukraine’s second-largest city, including residential areas and regional government buildings.

Mariupol city council said Russian forces had repeatedly and intentionally shelled vital civilian infrastructure in the southeastern port of Ukraine, causing damage to infrastructure resulting in water, power and heater.

The BM-21 is one of several mass-launched missile systems (MLRS) used by the Russian military in this operation. A battalion of 18 launchers can launch 720 rockets in a single battle.

BM-2 multiple launch rocket system. Photo: WIKIPEDIA

However, the missiles are unguided and have lower accuracy than conventional artillery, so they are not used in situations where high accuracy is required. To destroy a single target, the system relies on a large number of missiles scattered across an area.

Encirclement tactics typically included encircling enemy positions, cutting off supply and escape routes, and then attacking with a combined force of armor, infantry, and engineer.

A cluster bomb. Photo: BROWN UNIVERSITY

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both say Russian forces appear to have used cluster munitions. The group also accused Russian troops of using these banned weapons to attack a kindergarten in northeastern Ukraine while civilians were sheltering inside.

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