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World alarmed as Ukrainian drone hits Russia’s nuclear radar system

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Ukraine hits Russian strategic Armavir radar station in Krasnodar Krai

The world was thrown into birth pangs after a Ukrainian drone hit Russia’s nuclear radar system on May 23, 2024.

The drone, on Saturday, damaged the state-of-the-art station located at Krasnodar.

What is Armavir radar station?

Ukrainian forces carried out a drone strike on the Armavir radar station in the Krasnodar border region of Russia.

The Armavir radar station plays a crucial role in both conventional air defense and Russia’s nuclear warning system.

Satellite images showed the scale of destruction following the strike on Russia’s early warning radar.

The attack caught Russia’s conventional air-defence, which is part of Moscow’s nuclear warning system, napping.

The nuclear warning system has been touted as one of Russia’s most modern radar systems.

A source revealed that each has a range of around 6,400 kilometers and can track 500 objects simultaneously.

The radar station has reportedly been able to track long-range ATACMS missiles US gave Ukraine earlier this year.

What is ATACMS?

The MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) is a tactical ballistic missile.

The missile was designed and manufactured by the US defense company Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV), and later Lockheed Martin through acquisitions.

It uses solid propellant and is 4.0 meters long with a diameter of 610 mm.

The longest-range variants, guided by a GPS-aided inertial navigation system, can fly up to 300 kilometers.

It can achieve supersonic speeds, exceeding Mach 3, i.e. 1.0 km/s, with its flight ceiling reaching 160,000 feet.

ATACMS missiles can be fired from two platforms, the tracked M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), and the wheeled M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

ATACMS boasts precision and accuracy beyond traditional missile systems.

It has ability to hit targets well beyond the range of existing Army cannons, rockets, and other missiles

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Little wonder Russia deployed 10 Voronezh class installations of its defence system along its border.

Ukraine shocks Russia

It must have come as a rude shock, therefore, to the superpower as Ukraine, with its meager resources, breached its “reliable” nuclear radar defence system.

Citing reasons for the attack, Ukrainian officials said the facility covers airspace over the country, as well as Crimea.

Experts said the drone strike serves as a warning to Russia that its air defence systems and military sites are not impregnable after all.

Others, however, warned Ukraine to steer clear of Russia’s nuclear infrastructure to avoid dire consequences.

They said Ukraine should target bombers and military sites in general which Russia used to attack them.

The Telegraph quoted Thord Are Iversen, a Norwegian military analyst, as saying that attacking Russia’s nuclear-warning system was “not a particularly good idea… especially in times of tension.”

“It’s in everyone’s best interest that Russia’s ballistic missile warning system works well,” he noted.

Ukraine’s successes against Russia

Meanwhile, this is not the first time Ukraine has carried out drone strikes deep inside Russia.

Ukrainian military has, earlier this year, hit Russian targets, including oil refineries and transport hubs.

In a significant development, Ukrainian drones have carried out attacks deep inside Russian territory.

These strikes are part of Ukraine’s counteroffensive strategy, aiming to disrupt Russian military operations and supply lines.

The attacks have targeted Russian strategic sites and military infrastructure, signaling an escalation in the conflict.

Notably, these actions are making it increasingly difficult for Russia to keep its frontline troops supplied.

While the attacks have not resulted in significant damage or loss of life, they pose growing challenge for Kremlin.

It also means that the war is not confined solely to Ukrainian soil, increasingly playing out on Russian territory too.

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Ukraine has been using drones effectively in its efforts to counter Russian aggression.

The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have become an almost daily occurrence within Russia.

Notably, Ukrainian drones have targeted various regions, including Pskov near the Russian border with Estonia.

In Pskov, four Il-76 transport aircraft were damaged, 2 of them catching fire after drone strikes at a military airport.

Incidentally, there were no casualties, but the damage disrupted operations as Russia continues full-scale assault on Ukraine.

Arrested development

An analyst observed that this may be the reason Germany and the United have withheld certain tactical weapons from Ukraine over fears of potential nuclear escalation.

Whereby Germany denied Ukraine long-range Taurus missiles, the US refused Ukrainian requests that it be allowed to use Western weapons in cross-border strikes.

Russia, on the one hand, continues to build up forces across the border, resulting to the gains it recently made.

Reports show that Russian forces captured several villages and bombarded Kharkiv with missiles fired from its soil.

In the meantime, the United Kingdom has given nod to Ukraine to use its missiles against Russia.

The UK has consistently provided support to Ukraine in the ongoing conflict with Russia.

Long-Range Missiles

The UK has confirmed that it supplied Ukraine with Storm Shadow long-range missiles, which have an impressive range of over 250 kilometers, according to the manufacturer.

In contrast, the US-supplied Himars missiles have a significantly shorter range of around 80 kilometers.

The Storm Shadow missiles give Ukraine a better chance of defending itself, allowing Ukrainian pilots to operate from a safer distance away from the frontlines.

Once launched, the Storm Shadow drops to low altitude to avoid detection by enemy radar before homing in on its target using an infra-red seeker.

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Tanks and Drones

The UK also led the way in supplying NATO-standard main battle tanks to Ukraine, including 14 Challenger 2 tanks.

It has also supplied around 30 AS90 self-propelled guns.

Downing Street also announced that it would supply hundreds of attack drones and air defense missiles to Ukraine.

The drones are anticipated to be used for hitting logistics and control facilities deep behind Russian lines.

Calibrated Response

The decision to supply these weapons was made after Russia continued to target civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

The support came in response to Russia’s invasion, and the missiles are compatible with Ukraine’s Soviet-era planes.

UK’s move was described as “calibrated and proportionate to Russia’s escalations, which have proved to be a significant enhancement for Ukraine.

They are, however, not in the same league as some of Russia’s own missile systems, which can travel much farther.

Ukrainian Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, meanwhile, assured that longer-range missiles would not be used on Russia’s trans-national targets.

All eyes are now on the White House to give Ukraine the green light to target Russia beyond the borders.

It’s noteworthy, though, that the situation remains complex and fluid, with international attention cast on the war.

Russia has yet to comment on the reported attack by Ukraine.


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