Oleksandr Kochetkov warns against further inflated expectation in Russia - Ukraine war, now related to the long-awaited ATACMS missiles.
Those missiles were developed in the 1980s, and now the USA is developing a new system. The first modification, of which they gave us two dozen, is an improved American version of the Soviet tactical missile Tochka U, which we used against the aggressor quite successfully. Until we ran out of supplies.
ATACMS of the first iteration has an inertial guidance system: after it is launched, a chip calculates the coordinates and corrects the flight, it has no GPS guidance system. Therefore, its accuracy is small - 200-300 meters. This is compensated by a powerful - over 500 kg - cluster warhead, which includes 950 sub-elements – kind of small bombs. The impact zone is several kilometers. But a heavy warhead prevents it from flying farther than 165 km.
The second iteration in the cluster warhead has only 275 explosive sub-elements, so it flies at a distance of 300 km. There are also iterations of the missile with a high-explosive charge of about 300 kg, with greater accuracy due to GPS and a range of 300 km.
The first iteration of ATACMS (the so called Block A) is suitable for destroying the accumulations of equipment, such as airfields, which we actually saw. It can also be used for destroying rail hubs, where ammunition is reloaded onto motor vehicles, as well as ammunition depots.
These missiles are ballistic, so they are fast, enemy anti-aircraft defense can intercept them only by chance. The main advantage of ATACMS is that our operators don’t have to be trained. Because these missiles are launched from HIMARS which we already know: today we get them and today we use them.
But ATACMS isn’t a universal weapon. And it’s definitely not a Wunderwaffe. For them to have a noticeable impact on the course of hostilities, it’s necessary to have not just a few, but hundreds of them: during the war in Iraq, the USA used more than 600 such missiles, and they have more than 4,000 units in service.
Anyway, in order to liberate the occupied territories of Ukraine, we must squeeze the invaders out of our land. That is, missiles are good, but we’ll still have to cross minefields, enter enemy trenches and destroy the invaders.
This is an extremely challenging task for the infantry and only the infantry. And there are problems with it, just read Andriy Biletskyi.Analytics atacms Russia - Ukraine war