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russians Show New "Izdeliye 720" Missile and Plan to Increase Kh-101 Production

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russian new "Izdeliye 720" (Product 720) missile mock-up / Open source photo
russian new "Izdeliye 720" (Product 720) missile mock-up / Open source photo

russian military industry is trying to increase production of cruise missiles for more strikes on Ukraine, and we should pay close attention to some of the details

Early February 2023, a high-ranking russian official appointed as the Deputy Secretary of the russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev visited the "Raduga" plant in the city of Dubna (120 km north of Moscow), the main enterprise of the russian federation for the production of cruise missiles.

Read more: ​Upgraded russian Kh-101 Cruise Missile: New Guidance System, Electronics and Radio Traps

This "event" was widely broadcast by russian propaganda media. As a result, some details were spilled in open access and noticed by the experts of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

Exhibition of russian cruise missiles in one of the workshops of the Raduga plant, February 2023. In particular, we can see the Kh-35, Kh-69, Kh-59, Kh-101 and Kh-22 here
Exhibition of russian cruise missiles in one of the workshops of the Raduga plant, February 2023. In particular, we can see the Kh-35, Kh-69, Kh-59, Kh-101 and Kh-22 here / Open source photo

To begin with, the IISS analysts drew attention to the fact that the management of the "Raduga" plant showed Medvedev a cruise missile under the index "Izdeliye 720" [Product 720], apparently designed for use by tactical aviation. According to IISS specialists, such a missile could have been created based off the Kh-69 missile, the latter has not yet entered mass production. Although the "Izdeliye 720" is much more compact than its predecessor.

There are still no clear statements in regard to the possible properties or performance of the "Izdeliye 720" missile. Neither can they say if this is an autonomous development within the framework of one of the previous research programs, or if it is a "wartime mobilization" program to quickly make another "wunderwaffe" for the russian aerospace forces.

A model of the Russian Kh-69 missile for display purpose
A model of the Russian Kh-69 missile for display purpose / Open source illustrative photo

As for the equipment of the "Izdelye 720", instead of an electro-optical guidance system, the missile uses active radar homing head, "like that of" the one installed on the Kh-35 anti-ship missile. Based on the missile's configuration, IISS experts assume that the "Izdelye 720" has a radar, or maybe it is actually somewhat like a "bait" intended to breach enemy air defenses, similar to the American ADM-160 MALD small UAV.

There is more to this occasion than just the "presentation" of the new "Izdelie 720" to notice. The management of "Raduga" plant also showed Medvedev a slideshow that reveals the company's plans to build additional workshops in order to scale up the production of cruise missiles. It means even more missile strikes on Ukraine. Therefore, "Raduga" hinted they need additional money from the russian state budget.

The management of the
The management of the "Raduga" plant demonstrates plans to expand production capacity, February 2023 / Open source photo

The exhibition held there also featured the Kh-101 long-range cruise missile, among other things. And it seems that this type of missile is one of those they want to increase production of, according to their expansion plan. And here we should take note of IISS pointing out the existence of "at least two" versions of the Kh-101: the one conditionally labeled as "version 648" and the newer "version 263".

If we follow this identification, the "version 263" seems to have be a modernized Kh-101 with radio traps and updated guidance system, which has already been studied by Ukrainian researchers.

Besides, another interesting detail is that the "Raduga" management exhibited the Kh-22, because serial production of this missile stopped back in Soviet times. Apparently, this is an indication that the russians are still continuing work on converting the Kh-22 into a modified "product", the Kh-32 missile.

russian Tu-22M3 carrying a Kh-32 missile before the first test launch in February 2021
russian Tu-22M3 carrying a Kh-32 missile before the first test launch in February 2021 / Open source photo
Read more: russians Used Newly-Made Missiles of the Fourth Quarter of 2022 to Shell Ukraine