Why is the Kh-22 the Real Beast in Russia’s Missile Arsenal?

The Kh-22

Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, the specter of Russian missile attacks has loomed large. While hypersonic missiles like the Kinzhal grab headlines, it is the Kh-22, a seemingly less glamorous behemoth, that has Ukrainian air defenses truly worried.

Back in 2000, Ukraine handed over 386 Kh-22 missiles to Russia as part of a repayment for gas debt. Throughout the full-scale invasion, Russian forces have launched approximately 300 Kh-22 missiles at Ukraine, and up until now, none of these missiles have been intercepted or brought down by Ukrainian air defense forces. The Ukrainian air force spokesperson, Yuriy Ignat, openly admitted this fact, emphasizing the serious danger posed by Kh-22 missiles to Ukraine.
In its coverage last December, Moscow’s media TASS reported that Ignat highlighted the technical hurdles posed by the Kh-22 missile, underlining the need for specialized means of interception. The missile’s speed and trajectory pose a significant challenge for traditional air defense systems.
Ignat specifically noted the Patriot air defense systems as potentially effective against the Kh-22, but their success in the Ukrainian context remains uncertain. Despite receiving Western support in the form of SAMP-T, Patriot, Iris-T, NASAMS, and Crotale air defense systems, Ukrainian authorities argue that the provided systems are inadequate to counter the Kh-22 threat.
What makes this missile particularly challenging to defeat, and why this cold war relic gives Ukraine more chills than the hypersonic Kinzhal?
Credit to : Military TV

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