With tensions mounting along the Ukrainian-Russian border for the past few months, it’s important to know what Russian weapons there are to keep us all informed. The Russians sure have been busy developing what they believe will be decisive weapons in any conflict with the West. 

We know there are 100,000 plus Russian troops along the Ukraine border and those units are exercising and posturing in Belarus. Here are some of new Russian weapons that they will threaten NATO with if hostilities were to break out.

Project Skyfall

Skyfall is such a catchy name if we say so ourselves, but catchy names don’t win wars. In that case, let’s see why Skyfall makes it into this list.

SSC-X-9-Skyfall is the NATO name for the Russian-made 9M730 Burevestnik, an experimental nuclear-powered cruise missile first mentioned by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018. What makes it so special? For starters, it has an unlimited range… well, allegedly has an unlimited range. 

Its 2019 missile test was deemed a success. However, reports surfaced that it had failed to stay up in the air for longer than 2 minutes. Of course, we can assume that the Russians have done some work on its nuclear-propulsion system and made their flight times longer.

The Kremlin has continually developed its own line of intercontinental-rang nuclear-powered cruise missiles since the 1960s to counter the Reagan Administration’s Strategic Defense Initiative. Apart from the fact that it has unlimited range, it was also said to have the ability to evade missile defenses, making it difficult to shoot down. Russian claims along these lines should be taken with a large salt mine in Crimea.

Putin described the weapon to be “…the most advanced and unparalleled technical ideas and solutions about weapons design to ensure Russia’s sovereignty and security for decades to come.”

Checkmate

A prototype of Russia's new Sukhoi Checkmate Fighter is displayed at the MAKS 2021 International Aviation and Space Salon, in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia (Alexey Maishev/Sputnik via Insider). Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-unveils-a-new-fighter-jet-putin-praises-aviation-industry-2021-7
A prototype of Russia’s new Sukhoi Checkmate Fighter is displayed at the MAKS 2021 International Aviation and Space Salon, in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia (Alexey Maishev/Sputnik via Insider). Source:

Another Russian weapon with a catchy name. Yup, that’s right, meet the Russian-made Checkmate fighter jet. Officially named the Sukhoi Su-75 Checkmate, it is a light tactical aircraft designed to be a stealth light multirole fighter. 

Competing with Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II and China’s Shenyang FC-31, it was first unveiled at the 2021 MAKS air show—a static one. It’s not slated to be tested till 2023. However, reports have surfaced that prototypes were being made at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant.

It’s reportedly going to cost seven times less than the F-35 and can attack 6 targets simultaneously. Those targets can either be on land, air, or sea and can carry drones. If needed, it can also launch drones mid-flight. It also has an autocannon and a weapons bay for 5 missiles. More so, it was said to be resistant to strong electronic interference. Its speed can reach up to Mach 2, with a range allegedly 3,000km, and can carry a payload of up to 7,400kg. 

The Orion Combat Drone

The Orion Combat Drone is a Russian reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle that you might have heard of very recently when the Russian Ministry of Defense had uploaded a video of it last December 2021 when it had fired an air-to-air missile at a rotary wing drone.

The drone, which was developed by the Kronstadt Group, was a reconnaissance drone that could defend itself as it was to be fitted with an electronic warfare suite. It was reported that the drone could fly to speeds up to 200 kph and as high as 8,000 meters for 23 hours. 

The Orion has also been seen with a turret and electro-optical, infrared cameras, and a laser target designator to help launch guided munitions to ground targets. It is also equipped with KAB-20 and KAB-50 aerial bombs, a UPAB-50 guided gliding aerial bomb, and an X-50 guided missile.

Combat testing in Syria revealed that the Russians have upgraded it further with fighter-like abilities, launching air-to-air missiles and a dual-role weapons capacity to hit targets on the ground. With these capabilities, it is a rival to the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2, one of the world’s best-unmanned drones used in recent memory by the Ukrainian Armed Forces against Russia, when it had destroyed a D-30 howitzer in October 2021.

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