Defense Express magazine has drawn attention to the recent statement by Brigadier General Serhiy Baranov, the Chief of the Main Directorate of Missile Forces and Artillery and Unmanned Systems at the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The general’s statement provided insights into the state of domestically developed ballistic missiles.
In response to a journalist’s question about the progress of the “Grim-2” (Thunder-2 in English) ballistic missile system, General Baranov responded cryptically, “I would like to maintain some secrecy for now. But yes, it exists, it is being improved, and the Russians will feel its impact.”
Defense Express speculates that such a hint from General Baranov might indicate that the progress on the OTRK “Grim-2” project, also known as “Sapsan,” could be significantly more advanced than previously believed.
The new system was developed by Yuzhnoye Design Bureau in partnership with Pavlograd Chemical Plant and Kharkiv Morozov Machine-Building Design Bureau. The new missile reportedly has a range of 350 km, but technically, a missile is able to fly up to 500 km.
For context, as of June 2023, one of the developers of this complex stated that the actual readiness level for the “Sapsan” ballistic missile system project could be assessed at only 65-70%. At that time, it was estimated that completing the project would require at least half a billion dollars, without specifying the timeline.
However, these objective factors did not prevent the Russian Ministry of Defense from claiming to “intercept” Ukrainian “Sapsan” ballistic missiles.
Russian forces began “intercepting” Ukrainian ballistic missiles “Grim-2” as early as March this year, with seven such claims recorded so far by Russian media. In October, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed to “shoot down” two ballistic “Grim-2” missiles daily.
It is also worth noting another statement by Brigadier General Baranov, highlighted by Defense Express. He stated that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have already launched a missile that can reach over 700 kilometers, and it is not a modified Soviet-era drone but a new missile system.
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