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​Ukraine Is Building Up Its Long-range Strike Capabilities

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This year, Ukrainian troops will have the opportunity to use several more long-range systems
This year, Ukrainian troops will have the opportunity to use several more long-range systems

Despite the problems with the supply of military-technical assistance and support of new funding packages from the US, Ukraine's potential for long-range strikes against russian troops and other objects is maintained and even increased

This is achieved by the assets provided in 2023 and transferring some new long-range weapons in 2024. The development of domestic long-range weapon, first of all, UAVs, also should be noted.

As for the support of existing capabilities, we are primarily talking about SCALP/Storm Shadow cruise missiles. In January, France announced its decision to provide Ukraine with 40 more SCALP cruise missiles. Britain announced additional supplies of Storm Shadow missiles in 2024. Considering the high efficiency of these Franco-British systems, it is obvious that the attacks on the headquarters and key rear facilities of the russians in the occupied territories (in particular, in the Crimea) will continue.

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In the case of using Storm Shadow/SCALP cruise missiles, to hit underground targets is not a problem, as these missiles were precisely designed to target such highly protected objectives, Defense Express
In the case of using Storm Shadow/SCALP cruise missiles, to hit underground targets is not a problem, as these missiles were precisely designed to target such highly protected objectives / Photo credit: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

MBDA Took Only "A Few Weeks" to Adapt Storm Shadow Missiles for Ukrainian Su-24M Aircraft

But this year, Ukrainian troops will have the opportunity to use several more long-range systems. In particular, the long-awaited GLSDB, the supply of which some mass media announced as early as autumn. In November, it was reported about the supply of one M142 HIMARS to Ukraine, which, according to analysts, is prepared specifically to work with the GLSDB. SDB glide bombs, launched from the ground, will allow hitting targets at a distance of up to 150 km.

In addition, France announced a monthly transfer of 50 AASM Hammer glide bombs. Of particular interest is the possibility of Ukraine obtaining a version of the bomb with a flight range of 150-200 km. Back in 2023, the manufacturing company Safran Electronics Defense announced that it was working on increasing the range of the bombs by 2-3 times due to the development of a new rocket accelerator. It is quite likely that the new systems will be tested in Ukraine.

French AASM Hammer, a dumb bomb with a glide and guidance kit, Defense Express
French AASM Hammer, a dumb bomb with a glide and guidance kit / Image credit: Safran

Capabilities and Specs of AASM Hammer, the Rocket-Bomb Hybrid Weapon That France Wants to Give Ukraine

As long as, for political reasons, the use of Western weapons is limited only to the enemy's objects in the occupied territories, strikes on russian territories are carried out by Ukrainian weapons. The beginning of 2024 indicates that there is a certain increase in capabilities and efficiency in this as well. Here is under considering the recent strikes on key facilities of gas and oil export infrastructure in Ust-Luga and Tuapse. For these strikes, UAVs probably covered a distance of about 1,000 kilometers.

Ukraine's new long-range capabilities allow with surgical precision not only to inflict economic losses on the russians, but also to influence the mood of the business elites of the russian federation on the eve of the elections. russian oligarchs will lose their profits because of the war initiated by Putin and the inability of the security forces to provide reliable cover for their territory.

Firefighters put out the fire that broke out at their gas terminal in Ust-Luga, Leningrad Oblast, russia , Defense Express
Firefighters put out the fire that broke out at their gas terminal in Ust-Luga, Leningrad Oblast, russia / Photo source: Leningrad Oblast governor Aleksandr Drozdenko on his social media

At the same time, the russian troops will not just continue to suffer terrible losses on the battlefield, but will receive painful blows to the accumulation of troops and equipment in the rear, at the headquarters, new sunken ships of the Black Sea Fleet. Such demonstrative defeats, ensured by new supplies of Western weapons and own developments, will directly contribute to reducing the will of the leadership in the Kremlin to continue the war.

Defense Express reported that Ukraine Enticed Global Defense Industry Giants to Breathe Life Into Local Defense Industry, Ensure Defense Capability.

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