Russia's Hypersonic Response to Latest NATO and Kiev Regime Escalation
Russia’s Hypersonic Response to Latest NATO and Kiev Regime Escalation
Monday, March 13, 2023
Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst
In the last several days, multiple sources have published information regarding the Kiev regime’s usage of a number of NATO weapons and munitions, including the JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) bombs. JDAMs are standard unguided freefall/gravity bombs (so-called “dumb bombs”) equipped with a guidance kit that converts them into all-weather PGMs (precision-guided munitions). Guided by an integrated inertial guidance system combined with a GPS receiver, JDAMs have a declared range of up to 30 km, although this has been extended with newer versions, such as the JDAM-ER (up to 70 km). Precisely this type was given to the Neo-Nazi junta in recent weeks, according to the US Air Force Europe (USAFE) command.
According to The War Zone, USAF General James Hecker, head of USAFE, as well as NATO’s Allied Air Command and US Air Forces Africa (AFAFRICA), confirmed this during last week’s media roundtable.
“Recently, we’ve just gotten some precision munitions [to Ukraine] that had some extended range and go a little bit further than the gravity drop bomb and has precision [guidance],” Hecker said, adding: “That’s a recent capability that we were able to give them probably in the last three weeks.”
The exact type of the JDAM-ER provided to the Kiev regime is not entirely clear, although General Hecker himself used the designation GBU-62. The original weapon is used exclusively in naval warfare, but this one seems to have been modified for use against ground targets. And while it’s not entirely clear what platform the Neo-Nazi junta forces are using to deploy these weapons, General Hecker hinted that they were most likely integrated on existing Soviet-era jets in the same way as the US-made AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles). Since last year, HARMs have been used by the Kiev regime forces’ MiG-29 and Su-27 fighter jets to target Russian air defenses. It’s very likely that this is the case, although it’s not impossible that the Su-24 and even Su-25 jets could be used for this purpose.
Local sources have reported the use of JDAMs on March 10, specifically in the vicinity of Bakhmut (Artyomovsk). It should be noted that such weapons require extensive ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) assets, which the Kiev regime simply doesn’t have. This only leaves NATO as the side directly providing targeting data. And while this is nothing new, as the United States and its NATO vassals have been doing this for over a year now, it does represent a new level of escalation, prompting Russia’s express response. According to the latest battlefield reports, Moscow responded with its own PGMs, specifically smart bombs used by the now legendary Su-57, as well as mass usage of air-launched hypersonic weapons.
The Kiev regime troops tasked with air defense recently reported that the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) used at least six 9-A-7660 “Kinzhal” air-launched hypersonic missiles at once, complaining that they have no means of intercepting such weapons. Deployed since at least 2017 and used by modified MiG-31K/I superfast interceptors and Tu-22M3 long-range bombers/missile carriers, “Kinzhals” are some of the most advanced weapons in the history of warfare, being capable of not just using standard and thermonuclear warheads, but also their sheer speed and the resulting kinetic energy to neutralize targets of both tactical and strategic importance. Not even NATO itself has any means of intercepting such weapons, while it is yet to deploy anything remotely similar.
The Russian military previously announced that the scale of production of the hypersonic missile is being streamlined and expanded significantly, most likely by using the same production lines for the ground-launched “Iskander” hypersonic missile with which it has a high commonality in terms of design. The weapon has been used at least since March 18, 2022, when it obliterated Neo-Nazi junta facilities near the Polish border. And while it can certainly be considered an “overkill” against the Kiev regime forces, launching up to six “Kinzhals” at once is most likely a clear message to the increasingly aggressive US-led political West. This possibility is further reinforced by reports from certain DPR sources which are claiming that a command center packed with NATO personnel was one of the targets for the hypersonic weapon.
In addition, the Su-57 was also confirmed to be using new types of PGMs specifically designed for the stealth jet. The weapon in question is a derivative of the Kh-38M air-to-ground missile. On March 12, various local Ukrainian sources shared footage showing the remains of what appears to be the “Grom” (“Thunder” in Russian) PGM. The Tactical Missiles Corporation (KTRV) developed two versions of the weapon. The first (“Grom-1″) is a tactical cruise missile with a range of 120 km. The second version, dubbed “Grom-2″, had its engine removed and additional explosive payload added instead, turning it into a high-precision glide bomb. Its range is up to 50 kilometers. In addition to key battlefield advantages, both weapons can also be considered a clear message to NATO, whose massive mainstream propaganda machine has been insisting for over a year that Russia is both running out of weapons and unable to produce advanced PGMs.
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