Russian army in chaos as Ukraine prepares to unleash F16 ‘armada’ on Crimea

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun13,2024

Russia’s best air-defence system is proving useless in shooting down deadly US missiles, as fears grow in the Kremlin that Kyiv is preparing a massive aerial assault on Crimea.

The White House has been supplying Ukraine with ATACMS, a tactical ballistic missile that can hit targets as far away as 186 miles.

Kyiv’s military has used the deadly rockets in particular to target Russian bases in the Crimea to devastating effect.

In May, they destroyed a radar and two launchers from an S-400 air-defence battery at the Belbek base near Sevastopol – an important military hub.

Putin’s generals rushed in replacements in an attempt to protect the base from further attacks.

However on Tuesday Ukraine fired another barrage of ATACMS at the military base, wiping out an S-400 as well as a shorter-ranged S-300.

The Ukrainian Center for Defence Strategies said: “At least 10 ATACMS missiles were used in the strike, with the Russian air-defence system failing to intercept any of them.”

Ukraine‘s military is still clarifying whether a third air-defence system was hit, but noted the detonation of munitions in “all three areas where the anti-aircraft missile systems were stationed”.

Defence analysts at Oryx estimate that prior to Tuesday’s attacks Russian had lost two S-400 command posts, four radars and 16 launchers.

The S-400 is considered to be Russia‘s most formidable air-defence system and has better mobility and deployment speed than the Patriot.

It also stands out due to its capacity to handle multiple targets at varied distances, all at the same time. Yet it appears to be no match for the US-made ATACMS

David Axe, a military correspondent for Forbes, said: “The S-400 was designed to have an anti-missile capability, but it obviously doesn’t work.

Russia’s S-400s can’t defend nearby friendly forces—and they also can’t defend themselves. The more S-400s the Russians stage in Ukraine, the more they’re likely to lose.”

Russian military bloggers fear Ukraine is gearing up to unleash an “armada” of F16s on Crimea in major aerial blitz.

One wrote: “First comes the stage of overcoming our defences with ATACMS, then NATO aviation based on the F16 comes into play, under the wings of which there is a wide range of ammunition.

“Observing the latest events, one can indeed come to the conclusion the US under the Ukrainian flag is clearing the skies for the use of the aviation armada prepared in advance in Romania and Poland.”

The Ukrainian air force is getting 85 F-16s from EU countries and already has radar-homing missiles and precision glide-bombs for the fighters to deploy in combat.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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