ATACMS missile submunitions scattered unexploded in Crimea in Ukraine's most recent attack

Ukraine launches missiles with cluster munitions at targets in Crimea

On the night of May 15, the Armed Forces of Ukraine fired ten US-made ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) missiles at Crimea. Russian air defences intercepted all of the launched missiles.

According to Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhaev, several missiles were shot down over the sea and in the area of the Belbek airfield.

No damage to civilian infrastructure was reported.

The Russian Ministry of Defense called Kyiv's actions an attempt to carry out a terrorist attack on the Russian territory.

Sevastopol governor warned local residents of submunitions that may have been scattered on the ground as Russian air defences shot down the ATACMS missiles.

The M74 submunition is a steel shell filled with explosives. During the impact, each such submunition releases a large amount of steel fragments that fly around within 15 meters.

The head of Sevastopol urged parents to show photographs of M74 submunitions to their children. If such fragments are discovered, residents of Crimea should never pick them up but report the findings by calling 112.

According to the Analytical Centre for Aerospace Defense, the Russian Buk-M3 anti-aircraft missile system is capable of shooting down any ballistic missiles that the Armed Forces of Ukraine currently have in their disposal, including ATACMS of various modifications.

The ATACMS missile flies at an altitude of 50-60 kilometres above sea level in a rarefied atmosphere. When approaching the surface of the Earth, the missile begins to slow downed loses 75-80 percent of its speed.

The basic version of the MGM-140A ATACMS Block 1 includes a control system in the nose, a cluster warhead, a solid propellant motor and aerodynamic rudders. The M39 warhead contains approximately 950 M74 submunitions, which can destroy lightly armoured vehicles, vehicles, personnel and radars. The M74 is capable of hitting personnel within a radius of 15 meters.

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Author`s name Petr Ermilin
Editor Dmitry Sudakov