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Russia’s upgraded cruise missiles travel a shorter distance than their predecessors — but pack twice the punch

Russia’s latest air-launched cruise missiles may travel less than half the distance of their predecessors, but they pack twice the punch.
The upgraded Kh-101 nuclear-capable cruise missile — first added to Russia’s arsenal in 1995 — boasts tandem warheads, set to detonate simultaneously, according to Ukraine’s Pravda.
The updated technology was discovered after a missile downed by Ukrainian forces Friday was analyzed, Ukraine’s Defense Express reported.
The stealthy missile is designed to fly low to the ground, undermining air defense systems.
3 Residential buildings were damaged during a Russian missile and drone strike on the city of Kamianske. via REUTERS
3 A rocket is fired from the Russian army’s missile system toward Ukrainian position at an undisclosed location. AP
3 A firefighter works at a site of a Russian missile and drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine Friday. via REUTERS
The original Kh-101 weighed over 880 pounds, and was capable of hitting targets 3,400 miles away. To accommodate the addition of a second warhead, Russian engineers decreased the missile’s fuel tank size, cutting its range to 1,400 miles.
With two warheads, one of which is a fragmentation warhead, the Kh-101 now weighs more than 1,700 pounds.
While capable of destroying anti-aircraft missiles, the warhead, according to the Defense Express, also has the potential to cause devastation on the ground, resulting in human casualties.
The reports suggest Russia first started working on the missile upgrade in 2010.

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