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The Kh-101 that struck Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital in Kiev, on July 8th is a long-range, air-launched cruise missile developed by Russia’s Raduga Design Bureau for The Russian Ministry of Defense. The missile operates in a manner similar to U.S. and western AF advanced cruise missiles, flying at subsonic cruising speeds of 700 to 900 kilometers per hour and an altitude of 30 to 70 meters above ground level. It has a range of approximately 2,500 to 2,800 kilometers and can carry a warhead weighing up to 450 kilograms.The Kh-101 utilizes inertial navigation augmented by GLONASS satellite navigation to identify flight path and targets, resulting in an accuracy of 5 to 20 meters. It is an air launched cruise missile delivered Tupolev Tu-160 “Blackjack” or Tupolev Tu-95MS “Bear” bombers, meaning it can be launched from well within the sanctuary of Russian airspace.

Each Kh-101 is estimated to cost $10 to $13 million.

There are several options to defend against this threat. Optimally, Ukraine would destroy the missiles on the ground in Russia, either in their storage facilities or by taking out the bombers themselves before takeoff. Once bombers are airborne with this payload, the next best option is to destroy them in flight. Finally, once the bombers have launched the missiles the only options are active defense (shooting down the Kh-101 with Patriot interceptors or three dollar 50Cal. rounds) and passive defense (shelter vulnerable personnel and assets, electronically attack guidance systems to decoy the missiles).

Shooting down a Russian Kh101 cruise missile using a 50Cal.

Mission Statement

MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.