The transfer of AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles, or HARMs, to the Ukrainian Air Force has now been publicly confirmed by the Pentagon. This comes over two weeks after Colin Kahl, the U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, announced that Ukraine’s armed forces had received an undefined number of anti-radiation missiles. Just days prior to Kahl’s remarks, the first proof of HARM use in Ukraine surfaced on social media, and further evidence has since surfaced online.
It’s open season on Russian radar stations as Ukraine deploys US-made anti-radiation missiles designed to home in on radar beams.
The AGM-88 HARM missile will make the Russian side less comfortable using radar weapons than before, despite the fact that Russian forces can quickly react to developments on the battlefield. In other words, the AGM-88 anti-radiation missile has the potential to frequently momentarily blind the Russian military.
With the AGM-88 missile, it will be more difficult for the Russian side to detect Ukrainian helicopters and fighters, as well as identify and attack US missile systems in Ukraine.
Reports of the arrival of anti-radar missiles in Ukraine began to surface in early August after several Russian newspapers reported that they had detected some debris from an AGM-88 missile believed to have been lost. destroys a Russian surface-to-air missile in Ukraine. The Pentagon later confirmed that the United States had supplied an anti-radiation missile to Ukraine.
It has some damage similar to shrapnel hits which may have been received from air defense interception, however a malfunction is also possible. pic.twitter.com/gaaTAizKlS
— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) August 11, 2022
“We’ve provided a number of anti-radar missiles that can be fired from Ukrainian planes and hit Russian radars,” Colin Kahl, US undersecretary of defense for policy, said in a statement. Interview on 8/8. He declined to identify the model of the missile supplied to Ukraine. However, in the current US military payroll, it seems that only AGM-88 is an anti-radiation missile.
Additionally, a senior U.S. defence official revealed in an interview with The War Zone and other publications that the Ukrainians installed these missiles onto their “MiG aircraft” with American aid. The MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets are the only MiGs currently in use in Ukraine.
The main purpose of anti-radiation missiles like the AGM-88 is to target and destroy air defence radars, especially those directly connected to surface-to-air missile systems, which are the main enemy signal transmitters.
The focus of the news conference with the top defence official from the United States was on information regarding a new military aid programme for Ukraine that may cost up to $775 million. It also includes ammunition for the 105mm M119 howitzers and the 84mm Garl Gustav family of shoulder-fired launchers, 227mm GMLRS precision-guided artillery rockets for use with U.S.-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and variants of the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) provided by other Western countries, TOW and Javelin anti-tank missiles, Scan Eagle drones, MaxxPro mine- The Pentagon has never before disclosed transfers of TOWs, M119s, Scan Eagles, and MaxxPros to Ukraine in public.
The AGM-88 HARM missile first entered combat in 1983. With a length of 4 meters, a weight of 360kg and a firing range of 50km at Mach 2, this is a formidable missile. It can identify targets based on many different wavelengths, and can continue to attack even when the radar source is turned off. With a range of 50km, it can be fired beyond the range of most air defense systems .
Even so, anti-radar missiles are not an all-purpose weapon, but can bring a lot of advantages. This type of missile is usually fired before an air strike, it will contribute to limiting air defense systems, ensuring the safety of air forces against enemy air defense systems.
However, anti-radar missiles can be easily fooled by decoy broadcast stations. A typical device is the US-made TLQ-32. This device will emit fake frequencies away from the real radar, decoys attacking missiles.
Anti-radar missiles are often used as a psychological weapon. It cannot attack all Russian radars, but it will make the force more careful in broadcasting to avoid revealing its location.