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​Ukrainian Long-range Weapons Hit a Target in russia at a Distance of 700 km - What Could It Be?

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The Soviet-made Tu-141 Stryzh UAV, which after modernization could be used to strike targets on the territory of the russian federation / Open source illustrative photo
The Soviet-made Tu-141 Stryzh UAV, which after modernization could be used to strike targets on the territory of the russian federation / Open source illustrative photo

Ukraine may have an entire arsenal of means that allow it to strike russian military targets at a distance of several hundred kilometers

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that during the daily conference call he listened to the report of the Ministry of Strategic Industries of Ukraine on the production of its own weapons. The head of state also reported on the fact of the successful use of long-range weapons of Ukraine at a distance of 700 kilometers.

Such news is good in itself, as it means that Ukraine already officially has long-range weapons in its arsenal, which allows it to strike enemy targets at a distance of several hundred kilometers. But at the same time, a certain element of mystery still remains. It was not officially reported what the kind of target was hit, and what means it was hit by. If we analyze all the possible options, then we will get such a picture.

Read more: ​There is a 60-km Strip of EW Obstacles In russia Near Ukraine's Border, But 35-40% of Ukrainian Drones Reach Their Targets
Ukrainian Long-range Weapons Hit a Target in Russia at a Distance of 700 km, Launch of the anti-ship version of the R-360 Neptune missile, Defense Express
Launch of the anti-ship version of the R-360 "Neptune" missile / Illustrative photo by Defense Express

It is quite possible that when President Zelenskyy spoke about a target located at a distance of 700 km, he could well have in mind the recent raid on the airport in Pskov, which cost the enemy the loss of at least four Il-76 military transport aircraft.

These planes are very valuable for the russians - because of the low rates of their production. In any case, it is quite logical to assume that the recent events related to the explosions on the territory of the russian federation could be discussed at the daily conference call with the participation of the President of Ukraine.

If we assume what kind of means of defeat we were talking about, then perhaps we can exclude the Neptune missile from the list of means that could be used to deliver such a blow. The R-360 Neptune anti-ship missile modified for a land-attack, according to available data, has a range of up to 400 km. In order to hit Moscow with such a missile, it is necessary to reach a firing range of 500 km or more, as a result of further modernization work.

One of the damaged Il-76 strategic airlifter at Pskov airport, near which there are probably fire engines, August 2023, Ukrainian Long-range Weapons Hit a Target in Russia at a Distance of 700 km,  Defense Express
One of the damaged Il-76 strategic airlifter at Pskov airport, near which there are probably fire engines, August 2023 / Satellite image by Radio Svoboda

Accordingly, unmanned aerial vehicles remain. But in this case, there may be many versions, the authenticity of which cannot be verified.

In particular, it was reported in the Western media that Ukraine is already working on the creation of 6 types of drones, which can have a range of 1,000 kilometers. But if you focus only on data from open sources, you can find information about only two known types of drones with such a range: a UAV with the conditional name "Beaver", which was used to attack objects in Moscow, and a drone called "Morok" ("dark spirit" in English), which The Economist recently mentioned in its publication. The other four models still remain a mystery.

An infographic showing the researchers' assumptions about the performance of a kamikaze drone under the conditional name Beaver, Ukrainian Long-range Weapons Hit a Target in Russia at a Distance of 700 km, Defense Express
An infographic showing the researchers' assumptions about the performance of a kamikaze drone under the conditional name "Beaver" / Open source image

It is interesting that the russians are already publishing their own assumptions about the tactical and technical characteristics of the Ukrainian drone under the conditional name "Beaver". In particular, according to the assumptions of the russians, the range of this UAV is 700-1000 km, the flight time is 7 hours, it can carry a warhead weighing 20 kg and is capable of changing altitude to pass air defense zones and change targets. If these estimates turn out to be correct, it may mean that Ukrainian designers have managed to create a long-range kamikaze drone that is more advanced than the Iranian-made Shahed-131 (it has the same weight of the warhead).

It should be recalled that the first own weapons of Ukraine for strikes on the territory of the russian federation were converted Soviet-made Tu-141 Stryzh UAVs, which could carry up to 150 kg of explosives, and were used for strikes on the Diaghilevo and Engels airfields of the russian strategic aviation in December 2022. This shows how far Ukraine has come in a short time in the course of creating its own long-range weapons.

The Tu-141 Stryzh UAV, Ukrainian Long-range Weapons Hit a Target in Russia at a Distance of 700 km, Defense Express
The Tu-141 Stryzh UAV / Open source illustrative photo
Read more: Confirmed: Ukraine Remodelled Archaic Tu-141 "Strizh" Into Weapon to Launch Deep Rear Strikes Near Moscow