Ukraine Needs Medium and Short Range Missiles

Analysis of the technical level of weapons and military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) shows that it does not meet the requirements of wartime. The reason for this was the long-term chronic shortage of budget funds for the modernization of existing and development of new types of weapons. In the coming years, many of them will run out of technical service life, which may lead to a further decrease in the combat capability of the army.

Harsh realities, and this five-year experience of fighting in the Donbass makes it soberly assess the state and potential of weapons and military equipment and the prospects for their development.

Analysis of the technical level of weapons and military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) shows that it does not meet the requirements of wartime. The reason for this was the long-term chronic shortage of budget funds for the modernization of existing and development of new types of weapons. In the coming years, many of them will run out of technical service life, which may lead to a further decrease in the combat capability of the army.

The low technical level of existing weapons also contributed to:

  • the principle of retrofitting (“re-equipping”) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with weapons that have been preserved since Soviet times, which led to a formal approach to reforming the Defense Industry enterprises and their insufficient technological equipment;
  • reduction of the Defense Industry’s ability to repair and modernize existing weapons and develop new ones due to the termination of components supplies from Russian enterprises as a result of Russian Armed Aggression against Ukraine;
  • loss of 27 Defense companies as a result of Crimea annexation (85% of production capacity was concentrated in Sevastopol and Feodosia) and 27% of the industrial potential in the military conflict in the Donbas.

In these conditions, one of the WMH priority types that can potentially increase the State’s Defense capability is rocket-reactive weapons (RRW).

Now in many armies of different States, missile weapons are one of its main types. The presence of high-precision missile systems by the mere fact of their existence can keep the aggressor from attacking, since they pose a real threat to the economic and military potential of the enemy. Trends in modern warfare only confirm and strengthen the role of the missile component. Comparing the initial stages of three similar military operations “Desert Storm” (1991), “Desert Fox “(1998),” Allied Force ” (1998), one characteristic feature should be highlighted. The first of these operations focused on strike aircraft (the ratio of attack aircraft to missiles was four to one), and the other two focused on missiles (the ratio of missiles to attack aircraft was one to four and one to five, respectively). In other words, there is a tendency to launch the first missile strike, and aviation is given a secondary role.

Given the effectiveness of medium- and short-range missile weapons, Turkey, Russia, South Korea, North Korea, Israel, India, Pakistan, Iran, and China paid increased attention to equipping their national armies. For example, Turkey first purchased American missiles MGM-140A ATACMS. Subsequently, the army adopted the Yildirim-I and Yildirim-II missile systems with missiles with a range of 150 and 300 km, respectively.

Russia stores more than 200 TBMS CR P-17 and has 180 TBMS CR “Tochka” and “Tochka-U” in service, as well as 132 TBMS CR Iskander-M. In addition, according to the State armament program of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation for 2011 – 2020, it is planned to supply 120 TBMS Iskander-M to the ground forces, which allows them to be located much more effectively along the entire perimeter of the borders.

In South Korea, the national Deterrent forces include 4 types of missile systems: Hyunmoo-1 with a range of 180 km, Hyunmoo-2A with a range of up to 300 km; Hyunmoo-2B with a range of up to 500 km and Hyunmoo-2C with a range of up to 800 km.

North Korea has created medium-range missiles, in particular Hwasong with a range of 800 – 1500 km and Pukkuksong-2 (KN-15) with a range of 1200 – 2000 km.

In Israel, Jericho-1 was created with a range of 500 km and Jericho-2 with a range of 1300 km. In addition, Israel performed successful flight tests of the Intercontinental ballistic missile Jericho–3  in 2011, capable of carrying several individual-guided warheads with a firing range of 10,000 km.

The adoption of these missiles strengthened the defense capabilities of these States and contributed to their independent policies in their regions.

There are other significant changes in the world that are changing the system of international security.

The withdrawal of the United States and Russia from the Double-Zero  Agreement marked a serious geopolitical turning point and marked the beginning of a dangerous new arms race in the field of medium-and short-range missiles. The danger lies in the fact that medium-and short-range missiles are able to reach the target in a few minutes, leaving no chance for the enemy to prepare for the attack and its reflection. In addition, they are mobile, they are carried on special launchers, which is an additional complication when they are destroyed.