1. "Giant orders": The world enters a missile race
  2. Best air defense solutions
  3. Russia is no longer 'unshakable'. What does this mean for Ukraine? has launched a series of articles by Volodymyr Horbulin, First Vice President of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and Valentyn Badrak, Director of the Center for Army, Conversion, and Disarmament Studies. The first article in the series analyzes how Russia's attacks on Ukraine have affected the global market for air defense and missile defense systems.

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Since Russia began launching missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure in October 2022, several countries have actively pursued the development of countermeasures. Air defense and missile defense systems have become the first segment for enhancing military capabilities, following assessments of the effectiveness of Ukraine's air defense and missile defense system.

This trend will continue, as in 2024, the Kremlin began using two of the five "wonder weapons" that Russian dictator Putin unveiled with fanfare in 2018, claiming that Russia's new missiles "have no analogs" and can overcome even advanced missile defense systems.

However, Russian Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missiles proved vulnerable to the U.S.-made Patriot missile defense systems developed in the 1970s. The
3M22 Zircon missiles, while slightly better than the Kinzhals during the March 25 attack on Kyiv, did not confirm their claimed capabilities.

Nevertheless, the Zircon is a hypersonic missile capable of maintaining a constant hypersonic speed. Experts note that closer to the ground, the missile's speed is no longer hypersonic but still extremely high, at 4.5 Mach. This means that when the missile is detected and the alarm is raised, troops have only a few minutes to react. The Zircon missile can reach Odesa, Kherson, or Mykolaiv in just one minute, Dnipro or Zaporizhzhia in 2.5 minutes, and Kyiv in 5-6 minutes.

There are already more powerful weapons in the world than those possessed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. For example, to intercept a ballistic missile launched by Yemen's Houthis in February 2024, U.S. forces used the new over-the-horizon Standard Missile 6, which costs over $5 million. Therefore, in 2022-2024, Ukraine must wage a combined war, with expensive missiles used in limited quantities and widespread use of relatively cheap drones.

However, Ukraine is not the first, and the experience of foreign developers is of exceptional importance to us. Especially considering that countries in the "permanent danger zone," such as South Korea, are buying the best missile defense systems and developing their own.

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