Ukraine’s possession of the ADM-160 MALD decoy missile has prompted Russia to initiate the deployment of an analogous weapon system.
Photographs of alleged decoy missiles purportedly utilized by the Russian Army to ascertain the positions of Ukrainian air defenses have surfaced. These missiles, which lack warheads, are said to be developed from the Kh-55 platform, as confirmed by images captured in the Kyiv region.
In recent times, the Russian military has notably escalated the frequency of missile assaults on targets within Ukraine’s rear areas, concurrently enhancing the efficacy of their aerial strikes. Whereas previous Russian military endeavors involving cruise missiles were often criticized for their potential impact on Ukraine’s power system, despite relatively low target hit probabilities, even skeptics have now acknowledged the effectiveness of the actions undertaken by the Russian Aerospace Forces.
In recent developments in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, military experts have observed a shift in attack tactics targeting protected objects. Notably, the utilization of a significant number of decoy missiles has been noted, presenting a fresh challenge to Ukrainian air defenses.
The essence of this change lies in the deployment of decoy missiles, which closely resemble Kh-55 missiles but lack an explosive warhead. Although these missiles pose no direct threat, their purpose is to force the Ukrainian air defenses into action, thus exposing their positions and consuming valuable ammunition.
Once the decoy missiles have accomplished their objective, a subsequent wave of suicide drones and cruise missiles is unleashed. These advanced weaponry systems effectively bypass the now-engaged air defenses, allowing them to strike both the remaining air defense systems and strategic targets in the rear without encountering significant hindrance.
According to reports in the Russian press, this tactic has yielded successful results. Several days ago, it is claimed that the American Patriot air defense system was destroyed, and military installations in various regions of Ukraine were targeted using this new approach.
Russian media sources further assert that the missiles supposedly intercepted and announced by Kyiv were, in fact, decoy projectiles. However, the veracity of these claims remains unverified, as Ukrainian air defense forces maintain that they successfully engaged and neutralized genuine attack missiles. Moreover, the infrastructure in the affected areas appears to have sustained minimal damage following the recent air strikes.
The use of decoy missiles in warfare introduces a complex dynamic to the conflict, challenging the defensive capabilities of the targeted party. By effectively diverting resources and attention, these decoy tactics have proven to be an effective means of exploiting vulnerabilities in the Ukrainian air defense system. As both sides continue to adapt and evolve their strategies, it remains to be seen how this development will influence the trajectory of the ongoing conflict.
As tensions persist and military operations continue, it is crucial to note that the information presented here originates from Russian media sources and has not been independently verified by reliable and objective third-party entities. Any assessments and conclusions should be treated with caution until more comprehensive evidence is made available.