Western analysts have estimated how many more Kh-22 missiles the Russians have left (photo)

The authors of the report also believe that it seems that the Russians are running out of strategic cruise missiles of the X-101 type

Experts of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) presented a report on the use by the Russian army of anti-ship cruise missiles of the Kh-22 and Kh-32 types from Tu-22M3 bombers against land targets in Ukraine.

The main thesis from which the authors of the study proceed is that the Russians have exhausted their supply of strategic cruise missiles of the Kh-101 type to a certain sensitive limit, which is why they had to use anti-ship cruise missiles for strikes.


         Russian bombers of the Tu-22M3 type at the "Shaykovka" airport, photo from open sources
Russian Tu-22M3 bombers at Shaykovka airport, photo from open sources

IISS places such an emphasis. The Kh-22 and Kh-32 missiles have rather limited accuracy for hitting ground targets, unlike the Kh-101 missiles. Even if you make the correction that the newer X-32 has an inertial guidance system on the mid-course, a radar GOS for self-guidance on the final stage of the route and (probably) equipped with sensors of the Russian GLONASS navigation system for course correction during flight.

It took the Russians two dozen years and tens of millions of dollars of investment to develop and launch the Kh-32 and Kh-101 cruise missiles into serial production.


         Enemy Tu-22M3 with Kh-32 missiles, illustrative photo of pre-war times
Enemy Tu-22M3 with Kh-32 missiles, illustrative photo of pre-war times

While the Kh-101 program was “stuck”, the Kremlin was forced to re-equip part of its Kh-55 missiles with the “non-nuclear” version of the Kh-555, which was actively used during the Russian war in Syria . IISS analysts “did not notice” the “active use” of cruise missiles of the Kh-555 type for strikes on Ukraine. Therefore, they will use the following logic: they say, at first the Rashists actively shot down their X-101s, and after exhausting a certain limit – they switched to archaic X-22s.

They emphasize that their conclusions are intermediate. Because suddenly the Kremlin will decide that it is expedient to shoot down literally its entire supply of cruise missiles of all types, literally to the last KR, to the remaining “zero” for strikes on Ukraine. And this will require a reassessment of the standards of high-precision weapons stocks, which are currently used by the armies of all Western countries.


         Kh-22 cruise missiles at the Russian airport "Shaykovka"  June 23 and 27, photo by Maxar Technologies
Kh-22 cruise missiles at the Shaykovka airfield in Russia on June 23 and 27, photo – Maxar Technologies

It is interesting that the IISS experts accompanied their publication text with several satellite images of the Russian Shaykovka airfield, where the Tu-22M3 strategic bombers are based.

Therefore, in the photo of June 27, we can see 5 missiles of the X-22 type on the open weapons storage area, in the photo of June 28, there are 7 more missiles that are on carts or already directly suspended under the wings of the bombers.


         Kh-22 cruise missiles and Tu-22M3 bombers at the Russian airport "Shaykovka"  June 28, photo – Maxar Technologies

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