Impact of Russian long-range weapons in Ukraine over six months: total tonnage
Over the past six months since April 2023, Russia directed on Ukraine an onslaught of over 1,800 Shahed drones, nearly 600 cruise missiles, and approximately 150 ballistic and other missiles
Defense Express reported on the numbers.
Contrary to the belief that Russia had been stockpiling cruise missiles, an analysis of the quantity of long-range weaponry employed by Russian forces in their hypothetical spring-summer offensive campaign has revealed intriguing insights.
Russia’s long-range armaments should be differentiated not solely by their quantity, but also by the weight of their warheads. This distinction, especially when dealing with large numbers, contributes significantly to the total payload of the offensive.
Between April 1 and October 16, Russia launched the following, as reported by the Air Force Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces:
Shahed-136: A total of over 1,803 units, of which 1,521 units were successfully intercepted, resulting in an 84% interception rate.
Cruise missiles, including Kh-555, Kh-55, Kh-101, Kalibr, and R-500: 597 units were launched, with 531 of them successfully intercepted, yielding an 89% interception rate.
Ballistic missiles, such as Kh-22, Oniks, and Kh-47 Kinzhal: 150 units were launched, and 36 of them were intercepted, resulting in a 24% interception rate.
Please note that these figures are approximate, as some reports only indicate the number of missiles shot down, not the total number of missiles or drones launched. Additionally, not all of these projectiles reached Ukrainian airspace, and the exact number of Kh-47 Kinzhal missiles shot down was not reported.
The warhead of the Shahed-136 is estimated to weigh 40 kg, resulting in a total warhead weight of 72.12 tons for these UAVs. However, due to the highly effective air defense systems, only 11.28 tons of these warheads managed to reach their intended targets.
The average warhead weight of Russian cruise missiles is approximately 400 kg, though there were some Kh-55 missiles with warhead imitators among those launched.
Consequently, the total tonnage of missiles launched by Russia was around 238.8 tons, with only 26.4 tons successfully reaching their targets.
Regarding the third category of missiles, the calculations are more approximate due to the inclusion of ballistic missiles like Iskander-M or S-300/S-400. The warhead weight of these missiles varies between 500 kg and up to 180 kg. Therefore, an estimated 83 tons of warhead weight was carried by launched ballistic missiles, including Kh-22, Oniks, and Kh-47 Kinzhal. Out of these, 65 tons of warheads on missiles were not intercepted, with the largest share consisting of 42 Kh-22 units carrying a 960 kg warhead, totaling 40.32 tons, and none of them were shot down.
In total, from April 1 to October 16, the Russian Federation endeavored to launch long-range weapons with a cumulative warhead tonnage of about 394 tons, of which approximately 130 tons of warheads successfully struck their intended targets.