TechKyiv surprises Russians: Their covert Kh-55 missiles fail

Kyiv surprises Russians: Their covert Kh‑55 missiles fail

Ch-55 Rocket
Ch-55 Rocket
Images source: © Wikimedia | George Chernilevsky
ed. KRU

12:21 PM EST, December 10, 2023

The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has reported that the Russians recently executed attacks on Kyiv using Kh-55 cruise missiles. These were designed to deceive and overload the enemy, yet they have proven to be ineffective.

The ISW's most recent report details that these missiles, utilized in the most recent assault on Kyiv, were disappointingly ineffective.

Detailing the Kh-55 missiles

"The Russian decoy missiles failed to overload the Ukrainian air defenses during the attack on Kyiv on December 8," writes ISW, quoting a well-known Russian "war blogger".

The key focus here is on the Kh-55 missiles, employed by the strategic aviation wing of the Russian Federation. These missiles were first used in 2015 in the Middle East. However, they originated from the era of the Soviet Union. Initially designed in the late 70s and early 80s, they were introduced to the armed forces in 1984 as nuclear payload carriers.

Interestingly, during the '90s, the Kh-55s were not retired but rather updated. The Russians modified them into decoy missiles, now fitted with conventional Kh-555 warheads. This variant was used on December 8 during a large-scale rocket attack on Kyiv.

The Kh-55 missiles launch assault on Kyiv

The primary intention was to disrupt the Ukrainian air defense by engaging the rocket tracking and interception systems. Nonetheless, this risky strategy was glaringly unproductive.

The source cited by the ISW emphasizes that the use of decoys resulted in the Russians failing to strike any targets during the assault on the Ukrainian capital.

The threat of the Kh-55 missiles to Ukraine

The ISW draws attention to a statement made by a Ukrainian military expert. This expert suggests that, before the latest attacks on Kyiv, the Russians significantly increased air reconnaissance.

This statement justifies the repeated use of the Kh-55 missiles, which could potentially be effective in the future. However, it's worth noting that nationwide effective air defense is not at the disposal of the Ukrainian authorities. The defense capabilities of the Kyiv region are uniquely prepared, and in the case of other cities, Russian Kh-55 missiles could pose a larger threat.

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