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Russia shot down US-made HARM missiles over Belgorod

In the news – Russia’s defense ministry said its forces had shot down four US-made HARM anti-radiation missiles over the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine.

In a statement issued on Monday, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said all the AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) were shot down during the previous 24 hours. “Four American ‘Harm’ anti-radar missiles were shot down in the airspace over the Belgorod region.”

Washington sent that type of missiles to Ukraine in mid-August. The projectiles are reportedly used by Ukraine’s MiG-29 and Su-27 aircraft.

Belgorod’s governor says at least one person was killed and several people were injured by Ukrainian shelling in the region on Sunday morning.

Furthermore, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said air defense forces also managed to shoot down several combat drones sent by Ukraine. “In the past 24 hours, air defense capabilities shot down eight Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles in the areas of the settlements of Melovatka, Ploshchanka and Nizhnyaya Duvanka in the Luhansk People’s Republic, Volnovakha and Nikolayevka in the Donetsk People’s Republic, Priyutnoye in the Zaporozhye region and Kairy in the Kherson region.”

Source: ParsToday – Russia says its forces shot down US-made HARM missiles over Belgorod

What are the AGM-88 ‘HARM’ missiles?

In mid-August, Washington supplied AGM-88 HARM missiles to Ukraine. According to open sources, the missiles are used by the Ukrainian MiG-29 and Su-27 aircraft. “These missiles showed actually zero effectiveness in the framework of the hostilities in Ukraine – most of them were shot down by Russian anti-aircraft missile systems, another part was suppressed or set aside by means of electronic protection of air defence systems,” the source told Sputnik news, adding that some of these missiles also failed or missed the target.

The source also noted that the low efficiency of HARM missiles is due to their mediocre maximum speed, which is a little over 600 metres per second (1342 miles per hour), and high visibility. According to the source, Ukrainian aviation uses these missiles from a long-range to avoid destroying the aircraft, which allows the Russian military to detect missiles long before they approach the area where Russian air defence systems are located. At the same time, the source added that HARM missiles create certain difficulties in time-coordinated combined strikes because air defence systems are automatically redirected to them as a priority threat. However, Ukrainian troops have not yet been able to hit a single radar of the Russian air defence system with the HARM missiles, claims Kremlin.

The AGM-88 anti-radiation missiles (HARM) missiles are currently manufactured by Northrop Grumman aerospace and defence corporation in Virginia state of USA as it is an advanced version of the AGM-88 missiles. The base missile was originally developed by Texas Instruments and is now manufactured by Raytheon Corporation which is also an American defence contractor. 

The anti-radiation missiles are air-to-surface missiles and the ‘HARM’ acronym stands for High-Speed Anti-Radiation missile. The missiles are tactical in nature and are fired from combat-ready aircrafts. They have the capability to recognise enemy radars that can track surface-to-air missiles and subsequently escape detection, in theory. 

The AGM-88 HARM missiles are fourteen metres in length but are only ten inches in width. With a weight of 360kg, the missile’s range exceeds 100km. The missile holds a fragmentation type warhead that is optimised for radar targets. It also has an anti-radar homing seeker broadband RF antenna and receiver, and a solid state digital processor. The HARM missile was adopted by the US air force in 1983. The maximum speed of the missile is declared at 2,280 kilometres per hour or 630 metres per second.

Source: Republic World – What Are US-made AGM-88 HARM Anti-radar Missiles That Russia Claims To Shoot Down?