TechWestern weapons proving a formidable challenge for Russian forces

Western weapons proving a formidable challenge for Russian forces

Launcher M142 HIMARS, illustrative photo
Launcher M142 HIMARS, illustrative photo
Images source: © Lockheed Martin
Mateusz Tomczak

9 July 2024 13:51

In an interview with the pro-Kremlin TASS agency, a high-ranking Russian military officer spoke about the numerous successes of the Russian defence industry. Interestingly, in a burst of honesty, he also listed Western weapons as the greatest threat to units participating in the fighting in Ukraine.

Lieutenant General Andrey Semyonov pointed to three Western weapon systems. In his opinion, the most dangerous artillery system the Ukrainians used was the American HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System). The Russian military officer also noted the British and French Storm Shadow and SCALP-EG cruise missiles, which, as he emphasised, pose a severe threat by flying at low altitudes and using satellite navigation systems for precise targeting.

Western weapons that cause problems for the Russians

Over the past few months, there has been a lot of evidence of the high effectiveness of HIMARS on the front. Interestingly, even the Russians themselves sometimes admit that American artillery inflicts significant losses on them. Due to its high effectiveness, HIMARS is sometimes called the "god of war." With the help of 227 mm MLRS rockets, it can hit targets up to a maximum of 69 to 80 kilometres away. Still, in cooperation with MGM-140 ATACMS missiles, it can provide a range of up to approximately 299 kilometres.

The high mobility of these multiple rocket launchers plays a very significant role. They are mounted on a wheeled chassis (a truck in a 6x6 drive configuration). At the same time, the vehicle has a 216 kW engine, allowing it to move at a maximum speed of up to 95 kilometres per hour.

The Storm Shadow and SCALP-EG cruise missiles are supplied to Ukraine by the United Kingdom and France, respectively. After launch, they reach speeds of up to approximately 0.9 Mach. They have BROACH (Bomb Royal Ordnance Augmented Charge) warheads weighing about 450 kilograms. Importantly, these are cruise missiles made using stealth technology.

A Russian evaluated Patriots. He missed the truth

Andrey Semyonov spoke quite differently about the Patriot air defence systems.

"In the course of the special military operation, it was confirmed that Russian air defense systems have the potential to repel strikes by all types of enemy air attack capabilities. That contrasts with the much-vaunted Patriot air defense systems, which were supplied to Ukraine by NATO countries and, as the experience of the special military operation showed, proved unable not only to protect the designated sites, but also to counter modern Russian means of destruction, that is, to protect themselves," TASS reported.

Such statements, however, do not correspond to reality. The Patriots are among the best air defence systems in the world, as confirmed by Ukraine. As demonstrated by the battery deployed in Kyiv, American equipment is highly effective, especially in the context of Russian Kinzhal missiles.

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