Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Russia upgrades deadly Kh-101 missiles for strikes on Ukraine

Russia has upgraded its Kh-101 (AS-23 Kodiak) modern, stealthy, subsonic cruise missile, reportedly increasing its warhead to deliver even more lethal strikes on Ukraine.

According to Defense Express, the Russian Aerospace Forces have once again modernized the Kh-101 cruise missile, equipping it with an enlarged warhead weighing approximately 800 kg.

This weight is twice that of the missile’s previous warhead, which weighed around 400 kg. However, the increase in weight is not simply due to a single warhead; rather, it involves the incorporation of two separate warheads.


It is noted that the second warhead features ready-to-use cubic-shaped penetrating elements.

Defense Express adds that such elements are typically used in anti-aircraft missiles, but in the case of ground strikes, they have a significant impact on personnel.

The installation of an additional warhead, in addition to the standard fragmentation-explosive one, was made possible by reducing the size of the fuel tank. This means a reduction in the flight range of the Kh-101, but given the decrease from 5500 km to approximately 2250 km (more likely less), this has little significance.

In the event of launching such missiles from the Saratov region in Russia, even against targets in the Lviv region in Ukraine, the Kh-101 will still have 500-700 km remaining for additional maneuvers.

Meanwhile, information regarding the option of equipping the Kh-101 with two warheads has been traced in Russian sources since the mid-2010s, during the development and testing stages of this missile.

At that time, it was indicated that in one of the equipment variants, the 400 kg warhead could be divided into two. The first could be dropped by parachute at a distance of 100 km from the main target. This implementation was abandoned at that time but has now been revisited. However, the specific mechanism of deployment used in the new version of the Kh-101 remains uncertain.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more