Ukrainian ATACMS Strikes Target Russian S-400, Fighters in Crimea

U.S.-supplied missiles hit Russian military installations, causing damage and fires
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 09:10 AM, May 16, 2024
  • 700
Ukrainian ATACMS Strikes Target Russian S-400, Fighters in Crimea
Alleged image depicting a destroyed S-400 missile system following a purported Ukrainian ATACMS strike on Belbek base in Crimea @via X

Russian military installations in Crimea, including airbases housing S-400 systems and fighter aircraft like Su-24 and Su-25, were targeted by long-range ATACMS missiles launched by Ukrainian forces.

The strikes, confirmed by both Ukrainian and Russian agencies, utilized advanced American-made Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) rockets.

The attacks specifically targeted Belbek air base near Sevastopol and Gvardiyske airfield near Simferopol, resulting in significant damage and fires at these military facilities.

The use of ATACMS missiles was part of a strategy involving the deployment of these weapons secretly supplied by the United States to Ukraine in April 2024. These missiles, boasting a range of nearly 200 miles, are designed to penetrate deep into enemy territory. The ATACMS rockets, weighing two tons each, release numerous grenade-sized submunitions, making them effective for targeting Russian helicopters and air-defense systems near the front lines.

In response to the threat posed by the ATACMS missiles, Russia reportedly relocated four MiG-31s from southern Russia’s Primorsko-Akhtarsk, moving them farther away from the front lines. Before the coordinated strikes on May 14 to 15, Russian airbases in Crimea housed a squadron of Su-27 and Su-35 fighters, along with MiG-31 interceptors.

Ukrainian ATACMS Strikes Target Russian S-400, Fighters in Crimea
Alleged image depicting a destroyed S-400 missile system following a purported Ukrainian ATACMS strike on Belbek base in Crimea @via X

Both Belbek and Gvardiyske airfields were equipped with anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems, including the S-400. During the initial strike on Belbek, part of one S-400 complex and its radar were reportedly hit.

According to a Russian military blogger, Belbek base was reportedly struck by ten ATACMS missiles. Air-defense radars detected the missiles two minutes before impact. The strike damaged an S-400 air-defense battery, destroyed a radar and two launchers, and caused damage to a MiG-31 and three Su-27s. Seven Russian troops reportedly lost their lives in the attack, reports say.

Local residents and footage from Gvardiyske airfield confirm extensive destruction, although the full extent of the damage is still unclear.

The Russian Ministry of Defense acknowledged the ballistic missile strikes, asserting that all incoming threats were intercepted by air defense systems. In a statement released on May 15, the Ministry confirmed the use of American ATACMS missiles targeting Russian territory and claimed to have neutralized five operational-tactical missiles over Crimea.

Unconfirmed sources suggest that during the missile strike, two MiG-31 interceptors, an S-400 anti-aircraft system, and a fuel and lubricants warehouse were damaged or destroyed.

Also Read

Russian Air Defenses Shoot Down Six ATACMS Missiles

April 30, 2024 @ 11:34 AM

Ukraine Launches ATACMS Missiles at Russian Targets in Crimea

April 30, 2024 @ 10:24 AM

S-400 Air Defense System in Crimea Destroyed by ATACMS Missile

April 18, 2024 @ 08:34 AM

Russia Intercepted 37 Ukrainain Aircraft, Six ATACMS Missiles in a Month: Shoigu

November 2, 2023 @ 05:30 AM
FEATURES/INTERVIEWS