Espreso. Global

Russia tests missiles capable of carrying tactical nuclear warheads against Ukraine. Serhiy Zgurets column

28 March, 2024 Thursday

Russian efforts involve designing a Zircon missile outfitted with a specialized warhead, specifically a tactical nuclear device. This indicates Russian developers are aiming to conduct real combat tests of the missile

Russia targets Kharkiv with new aerial bombs

Yesterday marked the first air attack on Kharkiv by the Russian occupying army since 2022, utilizing aerial bombs. These bombs, designated as "UMPB D-30SN," represent a new type of munition. Unlike before, when they had to enter airspace and potentially face our air defense systems, these bombs now possess certain advantages. Notably, a rocket engine has been incorporated into the conventional FAB-250 aerial bomb, extending its operational range to 90 km. Consequently, we must devise strategies to counter this new munition, with a primary focus on neutralizing the carriers of these bombs. Potential measures may involve deploying F-16 aircraft and the Patriot air defense system.

Russians are conducting tests of missiles capable of carrying a nuclear payload aimed at Ukraine

Recent revelations about the Zircon missile have shed light on its characteristics. This missile, touted by the enemy as hypersonic, boasts a speed of 9 Mach. Ukrainian experts have examined debris from the Zircon missile, revealing new insights into its warhead. It has emerged that the warhead is significantly smaller in proportion to the missile itself. For context, the Kh-22 cruise missile features a warhead exceeding 1,000 kg, the Kh-101 weighs 400 kg, and the Kinzhal missile carries a 150 kg warhead. In contrast, the Zircon missile’s warhead weighs over 100 kg. One explanation for this relatively low warhead weight is to extend the missile's range beyond 1,000 km, requiring designers to reduce its mass. Another interpretation suggests that a warhead of this size may not effectively engage the intended targets. Consequently, Russian developers are reportedly working on a specialized warhead, potentially a tactical nuclear munition. This underscores the current efforts to test the missile under real combat conditions. It's crucial to emphasize that Zircon missiles represent primarily a threat of terrorist attacks against Ukraine.

Ukraine is ramping up its domestic weapons production

Kateryna Mykhalko, the executive director of Tech Force in UA public organization, stated that over 30 enterprises are currently part of their association. These enterprises are major suppliers to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, specializing in the production of drones, software, communication equipment, optical systems, and ammunition for the Armed Forces.

Mykhalko highlighted the lack of order predictability and procurement uncertainty in the Ukrainian market. Procurement by the Ministry of Defense is dependent on annual budget allocations, a responsibility shared by both the government and parliament. She stressed the importance of establishing comprehensive military budgets spanning several years to ensure sufficient weapons production for the Armed Forces. While there has been an uptick in production for military needs, defense industry enterprises still face funding shortages.

Ukrainian-made weapons export

Kateryna Mykhalko advocates for Ukraine to permit the export of domestically produced weapons. She argues that this move wouldn't diminish production for the Armed Forces but would instead increase it. Exporting arms brings in new investments and boosts cash flow. Mykhalko highlights that Ukraine still receives some weapon samples from partners, as it takes years to localize production, such as air defense systems. However, Ukraine has made significant strides in producing various types of UAVs, some of which are surplus to front-line needs and can be exported.

Mykhalko also points out that Ukrainian arms manufacturers often earn praise from American and European counterparts. They receive rapid feedback from the military and adjust weapons accordingly to suit combat conditions. According to Mikhalko, there are several instances of partnerships between Ukrainian and foreign companies.

Currently, Ukrainian manufacturers operate under challenging circumstances, as each defense industry enterprise is a target for occupiers. Therefore, a crucial issue is relocating military equipment facilities underground. Mykhalko emphasizes the need to protect all enterprises from attacks by the Russian Federation. While it poses a significant challenge, progress is being made through collaboration with the state.

Read also:
  • News
2024, Sunday
21 April
Russia attacks Ukrayinsk, Donetsk region with Smerch missiles, killing one and injuring four
No Russian presence in Chasiv Yar – Ukrainian Armed Forces
Mayor of Russian-held Nova Kakhovka reveals harsh reality of life under occupation
How much of the $61 billion U.S. aid package will directly arm Ukraine?
Russian troops use Avdiivka tactics near Chasiv Yar – British Intelligence
Does Ukraine need F-16s at this stage of war? Aviation expert Dolintse explains
Ukraine's environment suffers UAH 2.4 trillion in damage due to Russian aggression
Bakhmut sector: Weather favors active Russian assaults with armored vehicles
Russia will escalate attacks ahead of U.S. aid to Ukraine, warns ISW
New Ukraine aid package will contribute to U.S. security – Pentagon chief
Explosions reported in Sevastopol: Russia claims anti-ship missile destroyed
2024, Saturday
20 April
Ukrainian army repels 25 Russian attacks in Bakhmut sector over last day
Ukraine receives L-39 attack aircraft from Lithuania
Latvian citizen detained on charges of planning sabotage in Ukraine - media
Russian opposition is waiting for Ukraine's victory to start acting - MP Mezentseva
Ukraine is interested in Brazil's active participation in first Global Peace Summit - Zelenskyy
Destroying Russian refineries is best sanctions policy
West has 'double standards' on air defense for Ukraine, says Zelenskyy
It will come with threats, tanks: Podolyak on inviting Russia to Normandy landings anniversary
Ukrainian forces kill Russian war correspondent Yeromin
Offensive planned by Russia for May-June has begun - Ukrainian major
United States should be faced with choice
Countries close to Russia doubt expediency of war in Ukraine - Scholz
How relatives search for missing soldiers in Ukraine
Political analyst Musienko assesses Lavrov's statements on negotiations
Russia attacks Kharkiv region with bomb, killing and injuring civilians
Russia forcibly deports Ukrainians from Dnipro coast in occupied Kherson region
UK intelligence analyzes downing of Russian Tu-22M3 strategic bomber
Russia's attempts to advance in Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia regions. Weekly military results by Serhiy Zgurets
Military comments on statements about Ukrainian army's counteroffensive in 2025
Russia's war in Ukraine kills at least 545 children, injures 1,298 more
Ukrainian special services attack facilities in 8 Russian regions, damaging energy sector
Russia loses 8 tanks, 20 artillery systems, 750 soldiers per day - General Staff
French mercenaries killed in Sloviansk: new Russian fake
Ukraine's ability to shoot down Russian aircraft can't compensate for critical air defense deficit - ISW
Ukraine's air defense destroys 2 Kh-59/Kh-69 missiles, 4 reconnaissance UAVs
2024, Friday
19 April
Victorious news of 786th day of war: Ukraine’s Air Force shoots down Russian Tu-22M3, German drone manufacturer opens factory in Ukraine
Russian army attacks Ukrainian positions in Kherson region 7 times with little success — General Staff
Kherson Art Museum identifies more than 100 paintings stolen by Russia
Putin will continue war until it becomes clear who is next in White House — political analyst
More news