TechRussian experts scrutinise US ATACMS missile guidance systems

Russian experts scrutinise US ATACMS missile guidance systems

ATACMS system, illustrative photo
ATACMS system, illustrative photo
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons | Public Domain
Karolina Modzelewska

1 July 2024 19:12

RIA Novosti agency reports, citing an anonymous arms specialist, that Russian experts are examining American ATACMS ballistic missiles. According to him, they are focusing on analysing the missile's guidance system and flight correction, which have recently caused concern for the Russian army.

It should be remembered that Russia uses state media to spread misinformation and propaganda. Therefore, it isn't easy to definitively assess the accuracy of RIA Novosti's reports. However, Russians, Ukrainians, and Americans study enemy weapons to learn as much as possible about them and use the acquired knowledge to create effective countermeasures.

ATACMS missiles in the hands of Russian experts?

RIA Novosti does not explain how Russian experts acquired the ATACMS missile or its parts. However, the agency released a recording that allegedly shows the "internal construction" of the missiles provided by the United States to Ukraine, particularly the guidance and flight correction systems.

The aforementioned arms specialist reportedly told RIA Novosti: "The combat parts of the ATACMS missile were presented. The guidance system. It includes three laser ring gyroscopes that keep the missile on its programmed ballistic trajectory. The GPS antenna allows for trajectory correction at the initial and final stages of the ballistic trajectory."

ATACMS in Ukraine

At the end of 2023, deliveries of ATACMS ballistic missiles to Ukraine in the M39 version began. This version allows for hitting targets up to 100 miles away. Later, there were reports that Washington was also considering providing Kyiv with long-range ATACMS missiles, up to 190 miles. At the end of April 2024, the first reports appeared that this precision weapon was already in Ukraine.

The ATACMS missiles are essentially large rockets, four metres long and weighing over 1.5 tons, developed and produced by Lockheed Martin. The weapon was created to meet the needs of the US Army regarding capabilities for striking deep behind enemy lines and deep within enemy territory. The missiles can attack enemy air defences, command centres, or logistics hubs.

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