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Russia and Zircon missiles. Kyiv was unable to react

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In the morning of March 25 this year. Job news began to arrive from Kiev. It seemed like a gigantic disaster caused by Russian missile fire. It quickly turned out that damage and human losses are minor. So why the panic that was fueled by the people of Kiev themselves and the media representatives staying in the Ukrainian capital?

By surprise. The alarm system went off at the last minute – just before the missiles hit. Air defense overslept?

No, the Russians used missiles hypersonic Zirconiumthat flew over Kyiv at several times the speed of sound. That's why the reaction time was so short.

Russia uses Zircons

They were fired from occupied Crimea three zircons. Two of them were shot down by Ukrainian air defense forces. And we are talking about the Russian Wunderwaffe, a miracle weapon – in this case supposedly “unshootable”. Because can you knock down something that is going at speed? 9-11 thousand km/h? Yes, you can, and Russians should not be surprised.

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Muscovites have other hypersonic missiles in their arsenal – Daggers. These – unlike Zircons launched by ships or ground-based launchers – are dropped from planes. They are moving just as fast, so they have become just another one for Russian propaganda “analogem-in-miru-niet” – a weapon system that has no equivalent in the world.

This phrase is always used in such a context or in such a way as to leave no illusions that we are talking about the best weapons on the planet. The West was threatened with swords before full-scale war in Ukraine – by transferring carrier planes (MiG-i-31) to the Königsberg region – in the realities of the conflict in the East, they were supposed to “penetrate like butter” into Ukrainian defense installations and critical infrastructure. And they entered – until they appeared in the theater of war American launchers Patriot.

Coming from overseas systemy OPL they regularly capture Kindżały. On March 25, they also did well against Cyrkons. Once again, the Russian Wunderwaffe turned out to be not so “wunder” when confronted with the Western weapons system. What is worth emphasizing – it is not of recent date, after all, the Ukrainian Patriots are at the level from several years ago.

(Not so) triumphant qualities

In May 2023, Moscow sent sharp notes to London and Paris, demanding that they abandon the idea of ​​​​supplying cruise missiles to Ukraine. Storm Shadow (SCALP according to the French nomenclature). It was at the heart of this intervention genuine fear of the Russians. Storm Shadows fly at a distance of 300 km and are intended to hit command points, logistics centers, air bases and elements of critical infrastructure.

In the spring of 2022, the appearance of American launchers on the Ukrainian front Himars first it destroyed Russian logistics, and then it significantly complicated it, because it forced the Russians to move their warehouses to a distance of 100 km from the front line. Getting into the action British-French missiles would mean not only further severe destruction, but also another troublesome retreat of logistics bases and command centers.

Firm Moscow's “requests” were ignored, and the missiles – with which the Ukrainians began to regularly fire at military installations in occupied Crimea – quickly proved the weakness of another Russian miracle weapon. Which one?

For decades, Western military analysts believed that Moscow had excellent anti-aircraft defense. It was even believed that the capital of the empire was the best protected city in the world from threats “from above”. In recent years, the most important element of this “umbrella” has been the system S-400. “Triumph” as the Russians called it to emphasize the alleged features of this weapon.

Crimea, like Moscow, defended by S-400 batteries – they defend in such a way that Storm Shadows have already hit Russian bases many times, destroying, among others, several moored ships, including an extremely valuable submarine (in dry dock at the time of the hit).

Ukrainian destruction on the peninsula is also carried out using unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles repeatedly reached and fell on targets in Moscow. The capital's S-400s – designed to hit larger and faster objects – are helpless against them.

Dummy or Cannon?

T-14 Armata tank is an innovative concept in many areas. If it were made in the West, it would probably be a dangerous and already refined weapon. Used on a scale that may not be massive, but certainly not symbolic either. But the T-14 is a child of the Russian arms industryravaged by terrible corruption, technological and intellectual collapse.

Suffice it to mention that in 2015 it was announced that 2.3 thousand units would be delivered. guns over the next six years, but two years later this number was revised to 100 pieces. And in the end, there were about 20 tanks – prototype and pre-series – that have left the factory walls to this day. Nizhny Tagil. After over two decades of construction work and nine years since the creation of the first vehicle.

The cannon is serious problems with the drive system – Russian engineers cannot create a modern engine for it. And this is not the only problem with the “Russian” design. I put the quotation marks here on purpose, because it's about optoelectronics. The Russians were unable to produce their own, so they used it from French solutions. Initially, they avoided sanctions (introduced after the annexation of Crimea), but over time, obtaining components became impossible. Similarly to the production of appropriate quality substitutes.

Meanwhile, a tank with even the best armor (and the Armata one is probably the top one), if it remains “blind” or “short-sighted”, not suitable for the battlefield. It seems that the Russians are aware of this, because despite the proud propaganda announcements, Armata has not yet been launched did not appear in Ukraine. Recently, representatives of the Ministry of Defense even stated that the tank is “too expensive” to be used in a “special military operation”. Fact, 50-year-old T-62s are much cheaper. And there are still a lot of them, unlike the T-14 model, which had a malicious name change – from Armata to Dummy.

Failed Terminators

Su-57 was supposed to be the Russian answer to the American ones stealth planes – “invisible”, as they are usually written about in the non-professional press. The reduced detectability in the Russian version is an active radar cross-section of 5,000. times greater than that of the American one F-22. Raptor you can actually miss it on the radar, a Suchoj shines like older generation machines, not designed with “invisibility” in mind.

The designers of the Su-57 also banged their heads against the wall regarding the engine – apparently they managed to solve this problem. Either way, 22 years after the launch of the program and fourteen years since the first prototype flew, the Russian Air Force has at most two dozen of these “super machines”. According to Moscow sources, the Su-57s were used to attack targets in Ukraine, but fired missiles over the territory Russia, beyond the reach of the Ukrainian OPL. Significant caution…

Instead, other “analogs-in-miru-niet” – heavy combat vehicles – were sent into combat Terminator support vehicles. They were intended to cooperate with tanks and infantry during battles in urban areas. In a real war, they turned out to be too heavy, too insufficiently maneuverable and improperly armed. After the Ukrainians destroyed one of the cars, the rest (3-4 pieces) were quickly withdrawn, and Russian propaganda stopped boasting about them.

Pension after the USSR

It doesn't change the fact that The Russians have various technical advantages over the Ukrainians. They have strategic bomber aircraft that allow them to attack the deep Ukrainian hinterland. Cruise missiles fired from bombers fly at a distance of up to 2-2.5 thousand kmwhich allows planes to maintain a safe distance and almost complete impunity (almost, because they are based at airports Tu-95 have already been the target of long-range attacks by Ukrainian kamikaze drones).

The Russians have decent attack helicopters Ka-52. Operating beyond the range of hand-held rocket launchers, equipped with guided anti-tank missiles Kamowy, pose a serious threat to Ukrainian tanks and armored vehicles, including Western types. It is true that wherever the Ukrainians upgrade classic air defense systems, the wonderful properties of the Ka-52 disappear and they decline, but the defenders have very limited resources here.

Another type of weapon that defines Russian effectiveness is faces. Or more precisely – minefields (I should have written “oversized”), behind which the Russians hid in the occupied areas.

And finally they have the Muscovites drones, venturing up to 40-50 km deep into Ukrainian territory. Attacks on the near rear of the front have intensified significantly in recent weeks, and what is worse, they are aimed at the most valuable resources for Ukrainians – Western long-range artillery systems, mobile anti-aircraft defense positions, radars, and helicopters and planes “caught” while basing. Suffice it to say that in February and March this year. The Russians managed to destroy at least two Patriot launchers, one Himars, several radars, several helicopters and planes, a dozen or so – and according to some sources, over 20 – self-propelled gun-howitzers, including Polish Krabs.

To make matters worse, Ukrainians seem to be helpless against these attacks – The Russians managed to secure the operation of their own reconnaissance drones. They have always been superior to the enemy in terms of radio-electronic warfare (RF) assets, and now they have increased this advantage. If the Ukrainians don't break through this one “bubble”they will be condemned to the gradual loss of “ancestral silver”.

To conclude, the Russian advantages are not any Wunderwaffe and are largely a “rent from the USSR”. Another legacy of the Soviet Union is the unceremonious treatment of its own soldiers. In fact, it is this human mass and its properties – especially numbers and discipline bordering on lawlessness – that constitute the most “miraculous” of Russian weapons.

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Prof. Grochmalski: Putin has designated Poland as a key country in terms of hatred and hostility/Polsat News/Polsat News



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