Guided missiles

Russia can keep adding guided missiles to the war with Ukraine because it gets chips from other countries, stores many chips, and has a strategic arsenal.

Mark Milley, the head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on November 16 that Russia attacked all of Ukraine on November 15 with nearly 100 cruise missiles and other weapons. “This is the biggest air attack on Ukraine since the war started,” he said.

Throughout the nearly nine-month conflict, Western defense officials and military analysts have frequently stated that Russia’s arsenal, especially its guided missiles, is almost exhausted owing to its extensive use.

Russia can deploy new missiles continuously

“I have seen many times in Western analysts that Russia will soon run out of weapons. Don’t waste time waiting. The progress of weapons and special equipment shipments is increasing in all areas, from tanks to artillery, high-precision guided missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Wait for it,” Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said on October 24.

IHS Janes, a defense publication based in the United Kingdom, revealed its analysis of the battle midweek, stating that Russia had gathered a considerable quantity of semiconductor chips and electronic equipment to manufacture guided missiles  for several years before the start of the conflict. 

After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, ties between Moscow and the West worsened, precipitating a military conflict in Ukraine.

Many of these technological gadgets were designed for civilian usage, but Russia can upgrade them for military hardware use. 

The Ukrainian military has discovered that several of the Russian UAVs they have seized are not equipped with the sophisticated sensors expected of combat aircraft but for civilian use, like the ones used in conventional cameras.

Russia can buy electronics with more than one use through third parties; most businesses are willing to face US sanctions if they are found out. This means the ban on sales of semiconductors and electronics in the West won’t hurt the Russian defense industry.

“It’s likely that Russia’s lines for making guided missiles are running at full speed. The country’s economy is almost like it’s wartime because a number of factories that make things for the military are working three shifts and all weekends. “IHS Janes’s analysis has a paragraph.

Russia uses its stockpile of anti-aircraft guided missiles to launch attacks on the ground

According to the Ukrainian Air Force, on November 17, Russia launched at least ten missiles from the S-300 air defense system at forward-deployed cities. 

Mykolaiv regional governor Vitaly Kim in southern Ukraine said in July that S-300 missiles had been fired at the region by Russian soldiers.

In May 2017, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti wrote about the exercises of the Eastern Military District and mentioned that the S-300 air defense system could hit ground targets. During the Khabarovsk range exercise, the Russian air defense forces used the S-300 to shoot down fake “enemy armored vehicles” that were used as targets.

The S-300 system can hit big ground targets because it has an inertial navigation system and can update the parameters of a target through radio transmission. S-300 rounds are also hard to stop because they move at high speed and fly in a way that is similar to a ballistic missile.

It is said that Russia has a lot of S-300 missiles. “This air defense system is older and not as good as the S-400. So, Russia can save money by using the S-300 ammunition that has been stored to attack ground targets, “Colonel David Shank, who used to run the Air Defense Artillery School for the US Army, said.

Experts in the West think Russia can use the S-300 complex to attack targets within their range but out of the range of artillery. This would reduce the time it takes to attack the target and use fewer arrows.

“Cruise missiles have to travel farther and for a longer time, while tactical ballistic missiles like the Iskander are usually used for crucial matters. Russia has removed many S-300 units and replaced them with S-400 complexes. It also has a lot of S-400 complexes in stock.

Vast supplies of ammunition that are better for destroying fixed targets on the ground than for high-risk situations where they might be intercepted, “said Thomas Newdick, editor of Drive.

Russia can source from outside

On November 16, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that Russia is having trouble getting enough missiles to meet battlefield needs and must look too friendly countries like Iran to make up for its lack of offensive power.

In the past few months, the Ukrainian government has said that Russia is using more Shahed-136 suicide drones (UAVs) made by Iran to attack civilian infrastructure. Based on real images and intelligence, the West and researchers in the field of defense have made similar points.

Russia says it doesn’t use Iranian drones in war and points out that its products work well on the battlefield. Tehran also said that it gave Russia a small number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) a few months before the war in Ukraine and that it would “not close its eyes” if it was found that Russia used Iranian UAVs for military operations in Ukraine.

A spokesman for the Ukrainian military, Yurii Ihnat, said at the beginning of November that they thought Iran would give Russia several ballistic missiles. Ihnat said the missiles were made “recently,” and their range is between 300 and 700 km.

A former White House military strategist, Mark Cancian, has warned that the West has no idea of Russia’s current arsenal status or the number of missiles it has stored. 

But the United States and its allies fear that Russia still keeps a massive stockpile of weaponry in preparation for a large-scale battle with NATO, in addition to the weapons used in Ukraine.

Russia withdraws weapons from the strategic guided missiles stockpile for conflict with NATO.

A former White House military strategist, Mark Cancian, has warned that the West has no idea of Russia’s current arsenal status or the number of missiles it has stored. 

But the United States and its allies fear that Russia still keeps a massive stockpile of weaponry in preparation for a large-scale battle with NATO, in addition to the weapons used in Ukraine.

“The West thinks that a war between Russia and NATO is unlikely, but Moscow still sees it as a risk and keeps building a big arsenal just in case,” Cancian said. “If the conflict with Kyiv gets worse, Moscow can pull out all this reserve and use it to attack Ukraine with a lot of force.”