Experts said that, in addition to helping Russian forces defend, the S-400 shield also seems to be used to ambush Ukrainian targets, an unusual task of the complex.
Russia’s advanced S-400 air defense system is designed to shoot down aircraft and missiles at long ranges and at high altitudes. However, according to Business Insider, field reports suggest that Moscow appears to have used the S-400 to intercept US-made HIMARS rockets or even as a weapon to strike its targets. Kyiv side – a move that is considered quite unusual.
Russian military experts say that this tactic shows that Ukraine’s air force is not yet capable of stopping Moscow, allowing Russia to use anti-aircraft missiles to attack enemy targets. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian side said that, after more than 15 months of war, Russia seemed to have exhausted its arsenal to the point that it had to take advantage of the firepower from the S-400.
The S-400 Triumf is a mobile, long-range surface-to-air system. The S-400 interceptor missile has an estimated range of 400km and intercepts aircraft, cruise, and ballistic missiles as well as drones.
There have been reports that Russia appears to be using the S-400 to intercept Ukrainian HIMARS rockets. Considering the mission of the S-400, it is not unusual for this air defense complex to intercept enemy fire. According to Ian Williams, an expert at CSIS (USA), the problem is that the HIMARS bullet fired is not a missile but a GPS-guided rocket with a range of about 80km, much shorter than a cruise missile. program and ballistic missiles.
Mr. Williams believes that the S-400 can intercept HIMARS rockets, but it is not too easy to do this task. According to him, Russia’s use of the S-400 to intercept targets at a relatively close range like the HIMARS rocket could be a sign that Moscow is dealing with challenges with the deployment of air defenses in areas where they control. Russia is stretching forces along more than 1,000km of the front line and ensuring the safety of these areas is facing challenges as Ukraine prepares to counterattack.
In addition, according to Mr. Williams, Russia’s use of anti-aircraft missiles such as S-300 or S-400 to attack Ukraine is an unusual move. Firstly, the missile on the S-400 has a warhead weighing 181kg, enough to destroy enemy aircraft or missiles. However, this number is really small compared to the warhead on the Kh-22 cruise missile, which is more than 900kg. Using S-400 missiles to attack ground targets will not create enough destructive power. In addition, according to Mr. Williams, the S-400 missile works very well in the surface-to-air role but is not really too accurate when attacking ground-to-ground. Therefore, Russia’s use of this line of anti-aircraft missiles seems to be to put pressure on Ukraine, rather than to destroy the target, according to the expert.
Russia repeatedly rejected the theory that it ran out of missiles when Moscow repeatedly announced to increase in defense production capacity for special military operations. So far, Russia is still capable of carrying out the “rain of fire” tactic against Ukrainian targets.