Russia may use P-35 supersonic missile to distract Ukrainian air defense, Patriot can destroy it — expert
Defense Express military expert Ivan Kyrychevskyi warns that the use of these missiles will have unpredictable consequences for the population and the environment and explains what means Ukraine needs to shoot them down
He spoke about this on Espreso TV.
"Unfortunately, if we take only this narrow episode with the fact that the Russia fired this P-35 from the 1960s, we have no additional data. That is, we don't know what exactly the Russia could have launched it from, there are two options: either the Object-100 in the temporarily occupied Crimea (but before that, Russia used this hundred only to train their air defense, their missile ships, as we see in the case of the cruiser Moscow — it didn't help much, but it helped in the case of other ships), or it could be mobile launchers," the expert explains.
According to Kyrychevskyi, this episode has attracted public attention because it is on the verge of good and evil, as the last similar news was when Russia started using the Kh-22 missile, which was decommissioned in 2010, to strike Ukraine.
"The P-35 is such an old missile, like something from a dinosaur ages, roughly speaking, it was old when the Kh-22 appeared, because the Kh-22 is also considered old, but the problem is that it is the only missile that can leak, explode, burn when it falls, so there can be at least some damage to civilian infrastructure or the environment. In addition, there is a 900-kilogram warhead and the most important detail that should be mentioned right away is that it is also a supersonic cruise missile," the military expert told Defense Express.
Kyrychevskyi stressed that Ukraine needs Patriot air defense systems to shoot down the rare 4-tonne P-35 anti-ship missile.
"Who knows what else Russia will come up with to shoot down a very old, but still working, anti-ship missile that you can only find in Soviet-era reference books. The missile whose images were made publicly available, in principle, flew somewhere obviously not where Russia was aiming it. This is a missile for destroying ships, so it should have been aimed at some large targets of 100 metres or more. The problem here is that Russia may even have a lot of old missiles, and they can use them to try to overwhelm our air defense," the expert concluded.
- On January 19, Russia had used a rare 4-tonne P-35 anti-ship missile from the 1960s to strike Ukraine. Serhiy Zgurets, director of the information and consulting company Defense Express, noted that Russia is trying to use any remaining missile weapons to strike Ukraine: "The P-35 missile is inaccurate but powerful, like the Kh-22. It has a range of up to 300 kilometres and a warhead weight of 1 tonne. It can even use nuclear warheads. This shows that Russia is trying to use any remaining missile weapons to strike Ukrainian cities."