In 2018, Putin announced with great fanfare that the Russians had developed a hypersonic missile against which the West had no defense. At the time this was greeted with much alarm and angst with the American military industrial complex lathering at the bit to build more capable US missiles and missile defenses.
There were a handful of skeptics based on the reality that the Russians had upgraded an ancient missile and that the Russians are notorious for announcing huge military capabilities they do not actually possess. [Talking to you, Armata tank, you piece of crap.]
The mediocre performance of the Russian army in Ukraine is a testament to the huge gap between expectation and reality when it comes to Russian arms. Yes, the Russians lie to themselves.
Anti-missile defense, Kyiv
Yesterday, a US Patriot missile battery operated by the Ukrainians in the vicinity of Kyiv shot down six such hypersonic Khinzhal missiles.
In fact, the Ukrainian armed forces operated Patriot battery took out:
1. Six MiG 31K air- launched Khinzhal missiles;
2. Nine sea-launched Kalibr cruise missiles;
3. Three Iskander-M and S-400 ground-launched missiles; and,
4. An indeterminate number of drones.
It is important to note that the Russians attempted to provide a deadly mix of different launch modes presumably to confuse and overwhelm the Patriot system that had shot down a Khinzhal hypersonic missile two weeks ago.
The Russians likely targeted the Patriot missile launchers in Kyiv.
Bottom line it, Big Red Car
Two things occur to me:
1. The West grossly overestimated the capabilities of Russian arms and leadership. They are a third rate shit show. American and NATO arms are much superior to Russian arms.
2. The West has been too timid in arming Ukraine with top shelf arms such as the Patriot. Good God, man, give them the arms to fight and win. Finish the bastards! Now!
The Russians are dead meat. The Ukrainians will recapture every square foot of land taken by the Russians going back to 2014 which, yes, means Crimea.
But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.