The Ukrainian armed forces have shown impressive effectiveness in combating Russian targets in recent weeks. “Forbes” reports that nine days after a devastating attack on Russian helicopters with M39 missiles, the same munition was used again, causing significant damage to a Russian S-400 air defense battery in the Luhansk region.
Effective weapon use
According to sources cited by Forbes, this is the second known attack using the M39 missile. The first attacks on October 17 targeted Russian air bases in Luhansk and Berdyansk, destroying 21 Russian helicopters. The M39 Army Tactical Missile System, which dates back to the 1990s, can reach a range of up to 100 miles. It is emphasized that the Ukrainian Armed Forces specifically use these missiles against high-value and vulnerable targets.
Russia’s defenses under attack
Forbes highlights that the Russian Air Force had several S-400 batteries stationed in occupied Crimea before the current conflict. But as the Ukrainian armed forces have been equipped with more effective deep attack weapons, they have begun to target these batteries. In fact, they report that the Ukrainian Navy destroyed two of these batteries in Crimea within a month in late August.
Tactics and outlook
The overall goal behind these attacks, Forbes said, is clear: destroying S-400 fleets increases security for Ukrainian cruise missiles and fighter aircraft. Additionally, weapons such as the M39 and the Neptune missile allow other forces to carry out very damaging follow-up attacks. It is unclear how many of these missiles Ukraine has, but a Ukrainian diplomat, Olexander Scherba, expressed confidence in their range and impact.