The Tochka-U “short range” ballistic missile systems are the most powerful long-range weapon in Ukraine’s arsenal. However, after 5 months of hostilities, Kyiv has now exhausted its arsenal of these missiles.
In an interview with the Washington Post on July 24, the director of the intelligence service of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Kirill Budanov emphasized that the Tochka-U ballistic missile systems are still the longest-range attack option, for now, in the Ukraine’s arsenal.
However, he admitted that after five months of conflict with Russia, Ukraine now has only a few Tochka-U systems left.
Kyiv considers the US-made HIMARS rocket systems as the best alternative to the Tochka-U missile systems from the Soviet era,” said Kirill Budanov.
It is known that the Tochka-U tactical ballistic missile used to be the pride of the Soviet army before the US and NATO.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, this type of missile was distributed in large numbers to Ukraine. They are still the most powerful tactical ballistic missiles in the country’s army.
According to Russia, at the beginning of the conflict, Ukraine only had about 40 Tochka-U systems left. The conflict with Russia has caused Ukraine to use almost all of its existing Tochka-U missiles.
The destructive power of this missile lies in the large warhead, with the pre-emptive attack tactic, Tochka-U can destroy the enemy’s tank corps. This type of missile has caused Russia a lot of damage since the conflict broke out. It was a Tochka-U missile that sunk the Russian navy landing craft.
It is known that Tochka-U is an upgraded variant of the Tochka tactical ballistic missile, which was developed in 1968 to replace the 9K52 Luna-M battlefield rocket.
The Tochka missile complex entered service in the Soviet army in 1976 and the more modern Tochka-U variant officially entered service in 1989.
The missile is transported and launched on a 9P129 self-propelled launcher, using an inertial guidance system for relative accuracy when destroying a target.
Tochka-U is used to destroy targets such as ground vehicles of reconnaissance-attack complexes, control stations, airfields, reserves, ammunition depots, fuel … which are located deep in the line of defense of the opponent.
This type of missile has a range of 185 km, each missile carries a warhead weighing up to half a ton to destroy the target. When necessary, this type of missile can be equipped with biological, chemical, and even nuclear warheads with great destructive power.
To maneuver on the battlefield, the missile is placed on the launch vehicle. These vehicles are equipped with a 300-horsepower diesel engine that allows them to run at a maximum speed of 60 km/h on asphalt roads and swim at a speed of 8 km/h.
The vehicle’s operating range is up to 650km; 60% climbing ability; over obstacles 0.5m high and over trenches 1.2m wide.
In addition to the Ukrainian army, this type of missile has begun to be seen in Russian military units since the beginning of July.
Thus, Tochka-U missiles have been officially used by both sides in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Russia claim they are not using this old missiles instead of that Russia using Iskander.
Previously, Russia announced that this missile would be completely removed to replace it with Iskander-M missiles, but the conflict in Ukraine has forced Russia to call back old weapons lines, including missiles Tochka-U.