British intelligence explained the arrival of Kh-22 missiles over Ukraine as a reduction in Russiaʼs stockpile of modern weapons

Kostia Andreikovets

British intelligence believes that Russia is using Soviet-made Kh-22 anti-ship missiles to strike Ukraineʼs ground targets because of a shrinking stockpile of more accurate weapons.

This is stated in the intelligence review of the British Ministry of Defense.

The Kh-22 is a Soviet supersonic anti-ship cruise missile launched from a bomber. The stated firing range is about 500 km, although in reality the range is shorter due to the need to capture the target. The missile has a primitive radar guidance system with an accuracy of hitting a target of 10x10 km, as it was designed to carry a nuclear charge to destroy aircraft carriers. When using a nuclear warhead and launching a missile in the area of the target, its accuracy is not of significant importance. Due to its high speed, only modern anti-missile systems or anti-aircraft systems that directly cover the target can destroy the Kh-22.

Given the characteristics of this missile, it can be assumed that Russia is engaged in missile terrorism, since the Kh-22 cannot hit a specific target.

In addition, the British Ministry of Defense stated that the Amstor shopping center in Kremenchuk was hit not by an Kh-22, but by its modernization, the Kh-32. This is indicated by the results of the analysis of the recordings of video surveillance cameras.

  • Earlier, the Air Force Command stated that Ukraine needs modern anti-missile defense systems to effectively counter attacks on Ukrainian cities. Currently, Ukrainian defense is more anti-aircraft — that is, against aviation. It was explained there that the Kh-22 are launched far from Ukraine, so enemy aircraft are not within the range of air defense systems. After the launch, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have a few minutes to process the information, but, usually, the UAF systems can shoot down the Kh-22 extremely rarely.