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Air Force: Russia amasses strategic missile reserve amid ongoing production for attacks on Ukraine

Russia has amassed nearly 40 hypersonic anti-ship Zircon missiles.
Aftermath of Russia’s 20 February attack on Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast. Photo: Telegram/Vadym Filashkin
Air Force: Russia amasses strategic missile reserve amid ongoing production for attacks on Ukraine

Russia maintains a certain strategic reserve of missiles while continuing their production for strikes on Ukraine, said Ukrainian Air Force Spokesperson Ilia Yevlash, according to UkrInform.

On 1 May, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine, responding to a request by Armyinform, reported that Russia stockpiled nearly 40 hypersonic anti-ship Zircon missiles, 270 Kalibr cruise missiles, and 45 Kh-69 missiles as of the end of April 2024.

The development of Zircon missiles became known a few years ago, and in 2019, Russian leader Vladimir Putin claimed they could hit naval and ground targets at a distance of over 1,000 km and accelerate up to 9 Mach. The weight of the high-speed missile is estimated at 300-400 kg.

This year, Russia has used five ZM22 Zircon missiles to attack Kyiv. The PATRIOT and SAMP/T systems reportedly are capable of intercepting such targets.

“Russia retains a certain stockpile of missiles. Speaking of Zircons, according to open sources, they have about 40 Zircons that they can produce at a rate of up to 10 per month, approximately 400 Onyxes, about 270 Kalibrs, and roughly 45 Kh-69 missiles,” claimed Yevlash.

According to the spokesperson, Russia can periodically produce new missiles and launch them on Ukraine, “but, of course, they cannot completely deplete their reserves.”

“There must always be some strategic reserve for emergency periods. In other words, they cannot use everything down to zero. But we see that Russians manage to produce missiles, which they subsequently launch at Ukraine,” Yevlash added.

Additionally, he said, Russians periodically launch decoy targets to neutralize Ukrainian air defense. It could be a military balloon with corner reflectors or an electromagnetic pulse with certain characteristics that a radar holds as a target.

On the one hand, as Yevlash noted, Moscow expects Ukrainian air defense to expend costly missiles on decoys. On the other hand, such tactics are aimed at detecting Ukrainian air defense systems.


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