Ukrainian authorities acknowledge that Russian cruise missiles have a unique feature that makes it easier for them to get past Ukraine’s air defence systems.
According to an officer of the Ukrainian army’s 138th Air Defense Brigade who is in charge of defending the airspace over the city of Dnipro, according to the Defense Express website, the Ukrainian air defence forces have recently struggled to deal with the threat posed by Russian cruise missiles because of a unique characteristic of these weapons.
So, at the start of the special military operation in Ukraine, Russian missile forces typically only fire cruise missiles directly at pre-determined targets on Ukrainian soil. The Ukrainian air defences have recently found it challenging to track and intercept Russian missiles because they frequently alter their speed and altitude while in flight.
Russian cruise missiles have a remarkable ability to change speed, altitude, and flight direction, according to the London, UK-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) research institute. According to RUSI research, some Russian missiles can alter these variables up to 80 times during a conflict. Because of this, Russian cruise missiles pose a threat to any sophisticated air defence system on the planet.
In addition to the aforementioned characteristic, numerous sources attest that the Russian military also employed decoy strategies to trick Ukraine’s anti-aircraft fire network. A report from Western intelligence that was released in late November claimed that it appeared that Russia had employed a Kh-55 missile with an inert (non-explosive) warhead as a ruse. In more detail, Russia will fire these Kh-55 missiles to trigger Ukraine’s air defense, which will allow Moscow to pinpoint the precise location and trigger Su-35S fighters to fire Kh-31 missiles at these targets.
According to experts, Russia has kept a considerable number of Kh-55 missiles in storage, so Moscow can redeploy the warheadless variant with the intention of firing them in huge numbers to exhaust Ukraine’s air defence arsenal in the near future.
The Russian military has frequently attacked Ukraine with large-scale cruise missile assaults in recent weeks. At least 70 cruise missiles, including 38 Kh-101, 22 Kalibr, three Kh-22, six Kh-59, and one Kh-59, were fired by the Russian military on December 5. -31P on numerous targets across all of Ukraine. It’s estimated that the value of all the missiles could reach $500 million USD.
The energy, military, and communications targets in Ukraine were the targets of Moscow’s missile strikes on December 5, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The logistics network supporting Ukrainian soldiers, according to the Russian military, has been interrupted and “all 17 predetermined targets have been destroyed.” Another significant target of Russia’s missile attacks on December 5 was the rail system of Ukraine. Train stations and railroad tracks were damaged, nearly paralysing Kiev’s rail network.