On January 30, the Russian military blogger Fighterbomber released a video, which allegedly shows a Russian Su-34 supersonic fighter-bomber launching a Kh-35U missile at a ground target in eastern Syria.
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The Kh-35U is in fact an anti-ship missile with a range of 300km and a 145kg high explosive (HE) fragmentation shaped charge warhead. The missile is equipped with an X-band active radar seeker and an advanced internal navigation system (INS).
The use of missile against a ground target was not a surprise, because it is well-known that the Kh-3U has this capability. However, the pinpoint accuracy of the strike shown in the video was at least impressive.
An observer named Samir, with the handler @obretix on Twitter, was able to geolocate the alleged Kh-35U strike in Fighterbomber’s video. According to him, the missile hit a building in the southern part of the city of Raqqa, a dense urban area.
Advanced multi-purpose missiles such as the Kh-35U allow not only Russian warplanes, but also warships to hit sensitive ground targets such as ammo depots, radar sites and command and control centers with high accuracy.