Is Russia's Kh-101 stealth missile really 'invincible'? 

Russian military officials have claimed that the Kh-101 stealth missile is indeed “invincible,” claiming that it has won numerous significant triumphs in the conflict in Ukraine. 

Ukraine, on the other hand, claims to have shot down several such missiles without providing any proof.

In the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the Kh-101 stealth missile built by the Raduga Design Bureau with cutting-edge technology to decrease radar reflections reportedly performed extremely well.

News accounts claim that on September 14, for the first time in Russia–Ukraine War, this missile hit the Karachunovskoye reservoir dam on the Ingulets River, proving its worth and “invincibility” against Ukrainian Air Defence Systems.

Is Russia's Kh-101 stealth missile really 'invincible'? 

The Kh-101 stealth missile launched from the Tupolev Tu-95MS strategic bomber over the Caspian Sea was not detected by the Ukrainian Intelligence and NATO countries; the air strike warning was only issued after the missile hit the target.

The design characteristics of this high-precision air-to-surface missile allow it to overcome even the most advanced and powerful modern enemy anti-aircraft missile systems, even at close range.

The Russian military deployed a potent triad of missiles to strike Ukrainian targets: the air-launched Kh-101, the ship-launched Kalibr, and the mobile platform-launched Iskander ballistic missile.

Between 1995 and 2013, the Raduga Design Bureau worked to perfect the Kh-101 stealth missile, a novel type of Russian long-range missile that employs a conventional warhead.

The Kh-101 stealth missile looks similar to the American AGM-158 JASSM air-launched cruise missile. However, the Kh-101 has a much greater range. Tu-160M long-range strategic bombers (12 missiles internally) and Tu-95MSM strategic bombers (6 internal and 8 exterior) are both equipped to carry the Kh-101.

The Kh-101 can go up to 3000 km and is equipped with a conventional warhead. The missile may carry a warhead of 400-450 kilograms (kg), depending on the variant. The use of high explosives, penetration high explosives, and submunitions as warheads are all possibilities. In a similar vein, the Kh-102 missile can carry a thermonuclear warhead with a yield of 20 kT.

This cruise missile uses an electro-optical system for terminal guidance and a television guidance system for correction of the flight trajectory. The Kh-101’s CEP accuracy is predicted to be 10–20 meters. ACCORDING TO CERTAIN REPORTS, the CEP of this missile is reportedly only 5 meters. 

This degree of precision is adequate for achieving infrastructure objectives. The missile may be redirected, allowing it to be employed against moving targets. Its flight path is dynamic, and it may reach altitudes anywhere from 30 to 10,000 feet.

The missile’s engine descends to the ground as it travels. In addition, the wings can fold out for more efficient flight. This missile is stealthier than the Kh-55 due to its smaller radar cross-section. As the missile closes in on its target, this design element makes it more difficult to spot and kill.

Strategic bombers like the Tu-160 and Tu-95MS do not have to enter Ukrainian airspace to use these cutting-edge missiles. These bombers fire missiles at their targets shortly after taking off from airfields.