The Ukrainian government has confirmed the use of air-launched anti-radiation missiles against Russian forces, with a video released on 30 August showing for the first time an air force MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum’ firing AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARMs).
The footage, released as part of a wider package showing ongoing Ukrainian Air Force operations against Russian ground forces, came some three weeks after the United States confirmed delivery of anti-radiation missiles to Kyiv. This confirmation followed the release of imagery from Russian sources of what purported to be parts from either a HARM or AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) that had been fired at its positions.
The use of this particular Western missile had prompted speculation that Ukraine may have been in receipt of the types of Western combat aircraft that are known to carry it, such as the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon. The speculation was reinforced by a tweet put out at about the same time by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence (MoD) that showed an artist’s rendering of F-16s in national livery and markings to coincide with Ukrainian Air Force Day on 7 August. “Ukrainian Fighting Falcons strike back,” the post stated.
However, the US government said that the anti-radiation missile (it did not specific the type) had been modified to be fired from aircraft in service with the Ukrainian Air Force, which this video now confirms.
This is before, what appears to be a missile fired by the TB-2, hits the SPH, obliterating it. A comment in the thread said Ukraine was using the AGM-88 against Russian AD to make the TB-2 more “viable.”
Global Defense Corp reported how in June, with mounting drone losses to Russian surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, Ukrainian soldiers and lower-level officers were reluctant to employ the drone any further.
During the first four months of the Russia-Ukraine war, the “Most Valuable Player” award could readily go to the Bayraktar TB2 drone. This drone provided the Ukrainians with the necessary air power to repel the initial Russian assault and then slow the Russian advances in the Donbas region.
The importance of the TB2 drones to the Ukrainians cannot be overstated. According to Oryx, a blog that tracks the destruction of military equipment through open-source reports, these drones are credited with destroying the following: 166 armored fighting vehicles,123 T-72 tanks, 50 towed artillery, 15 multi-rocket launcher, 20 anti-aircraft guns, 10 helicopters, 6 naval ships, 3 command posts, 11 communication station, 2 logistics trains, and numerous resupply trucks. The Ukrainian military reportedly started the war with just 30 of these drones and have lost only 8 in combat. Additionally, they recently received a gift of another TB2 drone from the Lithuanians who crowd-sourced funds to purchase one.
The Ukrainian military used the TB2 drone to search for and destroy key targets behind enemy lines. In doing so, the TB2 drone has gained worldwide recognition, with several analysts claiming that this family of drones has changed the nature of warfare. Meanwhile, the manufacturers of the drone have stated that the drones are now in high demand from militaries across the world.
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