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

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russian Kh-101 missile / Open source illustrative photo
russian Kh-101 missile / Open source illustrative photo

The Kh-101 remains the main cruise missile of the russian army, now received some changes in its key systems

New details regarding the russian upgrade to the Kh-101 air-launched cruise missile were revealed by the Center for research of trophies and prospective weapons and military equipment at Ukraine's General Staff. At today's briefing at Military Media Center, a representative of the research center Mykola Danyliuk showed some of the new technologies found inside russian missiles downed in Ukraine.

And Defense Express should note right away that the new version of the missile has been used since late 2022, and the following information applies only to the most recently manufactured Kh-101s. During the massive missile attack on Ukraine on February 10, 2023, the russians used the missiles produced in the first quarter of 2023. This fact confirmes that russian strategic bombers receive Kh-101s straight from the production lines.

Read more: Russia Upgraded the Kh-101 Missiles With Special Traps to Break Through Ukraine's Air Defense, But With a Strange Logic

In this article, we shall provide an overview of the findings by Ukrainian researchers, while the full briefing you can find in the video above.

The upgraded Kh-101 had a change in guidance system which makes it analogous to the American DSMAC. The idea is, a missile examines the surface underneath and compares it to the reference image. This system can work simultaneously with TERCOM, which compares the radio altimeter data to the reference terrain data.

How the TERCOM and DSMAC systems work
How the TERCOM and DSMAC systems work / Open source illustrative infographics

In addition, the camera itself was changed. Earlier it had one swivel lens, now it has three fixed lenses that observe the surface at different angles.

The old and the new cameras of the Kh-101 compared
The old and the new cameras of the Kh-101 compared / Image credits: Military Media Center, ArmyInform

There is also a change in the "Baget-64-02" (although referred to as "Baget-62-04" in the text version). As it looks in the photo, the russians apparently switched to new chips made by another manufacturer, as the microcircuits differ in size from the ones used in previous generations of the missile.

New chips inside the
New chips inside the "Baget" computer inside Kh-101 / Image credits: Military Media Center, ArmyInform

Part of the briefing was about the unit that Defense Express had already taken a close look at in a dedicated article – the block with radio traps, it goes by the marking L-504.

Here we should point out that the previous information about this block being filled with heat traps proved to be wrong. Just as Defense Express assumed, with reference to The Drive, this unit is intended to fire off dipole reflectors and thus create interference in the radio spectrum. The use of precisely this type of traps is more logical because the primary weapon against cruise missiles is a surface-to-air interceptor missile with radar guidance, and not a homing missile.

Ukrainian researchers also explained the algorithm of how the traps are used. Once the cruise missile detects radar activity, it fires the "radio flares" automatically. Also noted that this unit is placed near the warhead, and it was found on an unexploded missile.

Unexploded russian missile that fell in Ukraine gave the researchers a chance to exaine it. This one was taken down on January 26, 2023 / Photo credit: Air Force Command of the ArmedForces of Ukraine

Anyway, the Center for research of trophies and prospective weapons and military equipment said the bet by russian forces on the upgraded Kh-101 missile had failed. Moreover, the cases when a missile falls in the territory of russia without managing to reach Ukraine become more frequent.

The General Staff representatives do not rule out that the russians will continue to try to modernize their cruise missiles in the future.

Read more: ​Not Just Missiles and Drones: russia Heavily Relies on Western Components for Artillery Systems As Well