After 98 days, Tu-22M3 struck Ukraine again with AS-4 Kitchen

The Armed Forces of Ukraine’s Air Force Command reported another attack by the Russian Federation from the evening of November 21 to the morning of November 22, 2023. This attack saw the use of Shahed-136 kamikaze drones along with the high-speed Kh-22, launched from the Tu-22M3, for the first time in quite a while. 

Russian VKS will receive modernized Tu-22M3M long-range bombers
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The enemy launched a total of 14 Shahed-136 drones during the attack. However, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense asserts that all the drones were successfully downed by the Ukrainian Air Defense. 

Considering the span from the start of November, the Russians have deployed a staggering 240 Shaheds. The Ukrainians claim to have successfully intercepted 182 units, meaning they shot down roughly 75.8% of these missile aircraft. If compared to the first 22 days of October [inclusive], the Russian army had launched 229 Shaheds, of which 176 were intercepted—effectively a 76.8% success rate. For the entirety of October, 282 were launched, with 228 intercepted—boasting a success rate of 80.8% claims in Kiev. 

Confirmed: Russia uses swarming Shahed-136 loitering munition
Photo credit: Wikipedia

In conclusion, the enemy’s use of anti-aircraft missiles remained relatively steady. The numbers were significantly lower than the record set when the Russian Federation launched 347 units [with 272 interceptions—78.3%] from the 1st to the 21st [inclusive]. Furthermore, a record 503 units were launched in September [with 395 interceptions—78.5%]. 

Kh-22 in Zaporizhzhia region

Regarding the Kh-22 missile, it was reported by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry that the missile failed to reach its targeted location in the Zaporizhzhia region. However, its massive 950 kg warhead explosion resulted in substantial damage caused by the shockwave to private residences. Thankfully, no one was injured in the attack. 

After 98 days, Tu-22M3 struck Ukraine again with AS-4 Kitchen
Photo credit: Weapons Parade

The Kh-22 attack marks an event of significance, being the first of its kind since August 15, and the first deployment in 98 days. It’s noteworthy to mention that the risk of these missile launches peaked on November 13, as the Air Force sounded an alert due to the proximity of the Tu-22M3 launch lines. 

Further understanding shows that since April, only 43 Kh-22 units have been issued by the Russians, leaving a substantial number in reserve. In an initiative to enhance its power, Russia has announced plans to augment the warhead size to 1750 kg, a considerable increase from previous figures.

Kh-22 or AS-4 Kitchen

The Russian Kh-22 missile, also known as AS-4 Kitchen, is a long-range, supersonic anti-ship missile developed in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was designed to be launched from aircraft, specifically the Tu-22M Backfire bomber. The missile was primarily intended for use against large surface vessels, such as aircraft carriers and cruisers.

In terms of its characteristics, the Kh-22 missile has a length of approximately 11 meters and a wingspan of about 3 meters. It weighs around 5,800 kilograms and is powered by a liquid-fueled rocket engine, which enables it to reach speeds of up to Mach 4.6. The missile has a range of around 600 kilometers, allowing it to strike targets at a considerable distance.

The warhead of the Kh-22 missile is typically a high-explosive fragmentation type. It carries a payload of around 1,000 kilograms, which can cause significant damage upon impact. The missile is equipped with a radar homing system, allowing it to autonomously track and engage its target. It also has a proximity fuze, which detonates the warhead when it is near the intended target.

In terms of technical data, the Kh-22 missile has been in service since the 1960s and has undergone several upgrades over the years. It has a guidance system that combines inertial navigation with radar homing, providing accurate targeting capabilities. The missile can be launched from altitudes of up to 14,000 meters and at speeds of up to 2,000 kilometers per hour. It is considered a significant weapon in Russia’s arsenal and has been exported to several other countries.


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