Kyiv has long asked Washington for anti-radar missiles, primarily to counter Russian air defense systems that have destroyed a large part of the Ukrainian Air Force and continue to destroy the remaining aircraft. The Armed Forces of Ukraine did not have their own means to counter the anti-aircraft missile systems of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
“The AGM-88 HARM is a missile adopted by the US Army in 1983,” a military historian told socialbites.ca and the broadcaster. It is considered “cunning” and “intelligent” and is used to counter air defense systems and disable its radars. meets modern requirements.” Andrey Kolesnikov.
American AGM-88 HARM missiles are in service with 11 countries, in addition to the US Army, of which there are more than 6 thousand.
The missile can target high-frequency radars and is not vulnerable to conventional types of interference, keeping the target in sight even when the radar is turned off. The missile has the ability to visually observe – the on-board computer contains graphic images of enemy radar stations and launchers. HARM has the ability to independently detect and identify Russian S-300 and S-400 air defense systems and other air defense systems. The rocket can also operate in the infrared range.
“The American HARM anti-radar missile is, after all, primarily an aviation missile. The app is designed for 150 km.
Accordingly, when attacking a target, a fighter enters the zone of destruction of air defense systems and risks being hit. When it all depends on who finds whom faster, that’s the hallmark of war. There are known cases where such missiles were used in combat in Libya and Iraq.
Their effectiveness was not that great, which does not deny their value,” military expert Major General Vladimir Popov told socialbites.ca.
The General pointed out that the HARM delivered to Ukraine will be used with a land launcher. In this case, the range of destruction will be reduced to 25-30 km.
“Accordingly, strategic air defense systems located much further away will not fall into the affected area and it is impossible to destroy them. To a large extent, such missiles can pose a danger to army air defense systems located near the line of contact and any radar posts used by the Russian military. The most effective measure is the timely detection and destruction of starting positions,” Popov added.
Military expert Oleg Granovsky also believes that HARM anti-radar missiles will be used from the ground in Ukraine. “It will be similar to what the Israelis have done with previous American anti-radar missiles, using a combat vehicle of the Keres land-based missile system capable of launching AGM-78 Standard ARM missiles,” he added. .
According to military observer and broadcaster Vladislav Shurygin, these restrictions make the use of the missile ineffective.
“It is quite difficult to imagine how Ukraine will use HARM missiles. The United States supplied the Armed Forces with missiles for aircraft that were not the aircraft itself. It seems like a joke, – said Shurygin. – The application for them was made against the background of possible deliveries of the American F-16 fighters they used. No planes, the Pentagon still rejects such an idea. Kyiv does not give its fighters, but delivered missiles – in what quantity and with what launchers is not clear.
At the same time, Shurygin added that the United States can help Ukraine restore its existing military aviation fleet, and anti-radar missiles can be adapted for use from Su-27, MiG-29 fighters or Su-25 attack aircraft.
“But this will take significant time. Again, the process of using AGM-88 HARM missiles requires training of both pilots and operators of guidance stations. Option – a sledgehammer in a capsule will not work here, ”the expert added.