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KH-22 Missile

KH-22 Missile:

Ukraine Air Force spokesperson recently disclosed that the country’s air defense units were unable to shot down any of the Kh-22 supersonic cruise missiles launched by Russia.

  • KH-22 Missile is a Soviet-era long-range airborne supersonic cruise missile.
  • Armed with a nuclear or highly explosive fragmenting cumulative warhead, it was initially designed to destroy aircraft carriers and other large warships, or even groups of such carriers.
  • The Kh-22 family was developed in the USSR in the 1960s and specifically designed to be launched from Tupolev-22 bombers.
  • Later, both the missiles and the aircraft were modernized as part of the so-called “Kh-22 special air-to-surface missile complex.”
  • Upgraded in the 1970s, the missile had an impressive speed of 4,000 kilometers per hour, a 1,000-kilogram warhead, and a range of 500 kilometers.
  • It weighs 5,820 kilograms.
  • A total of approximately 3,000 such missiles were produced in the USSR.
  • After the USSR collapsed, quite a few of them remained in Ukraine. However, soon after independence in 1991, Ukraine gave up its nuclear and strategic aviation arsenal.
  • In 2000, Ukraine transferred 386 Kh-22 missiles to Russia as an installment against the gas debt.
  • The successor to the Kh-22 became the Kh-32, which can be carried by the new Russian Tu-22M3M bombers.
  • The new missile features a conventional warhead, an improved rocket motor, and a new radar imaging terminal seeker.
  • It has a longer range but a smaller warhead.