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To Knock Out Russian Tanks And Survive, Ukrainian Missileers Have Learned To Shoot And Scoot

Rogue Valley

Putin = War Criminal
DP Veteran
Apr 18, 2013
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Political Leaning
To Knock Out Russian Tanks And Survive, Ukrainian Missileers Have Learned To Shoot And Scoot


To knock out Russian vehicles, Ukrainian teams lie in wait along roads—sometimes for days—before firing their missiles and sprinting away to their own vehicles for a quick escape. That’s the basic tactic the Ukrainians have worked out as Russia’s wider war in Ukraine enters its sixth week. Ukrainian missileers packing foreign-supplied anti-tank guided missiles such as the American Javelin as well as locally-made ATGMs such as the Stugna-P and Corsar have plucked at the Russian invasion force, knocking out a vehicle here and a vehicle there until the losses have become unsustainable for the Kremlin. The exact numbers are impossible to pin down, but Ukraine’s fast-moving ATGM teams undoubtedly have taken out hundreds of tanks and other vehicles. Missile ambushes probably account for a significant proportion of the roughly 2,200 major pieces of hardware that outside analysts can confirm Russia has lost since widening its war in Ukraine starting on the night of Feb. 23. The laser-guided Stugna-P has proved particularly effective—a development that should surprise no one. At just $20,000 per set, the 71-pound, three-person weapon is cheaper than the $178,000-per-system Javelin is. It’s made in Ukraine and paid for in local currency, so the Ukrainian army has been able to acquire thousands of them. Reportedly 2,500 in 2018 alone.

The Stugna-P boasts an important feature. The operators can fire the tripod-mounted missile remotely via a rugged television control unit. Stugna-P operators can set up the 130-millimeter-diameter missile along a likely avenue of travel for Russian units—and launch and monitor any attack from a separate location. If the Russians return fire, they’re likely to target the puff of dust marking the launch site. The crew, however, could be 50 yards away. A Ukrainian army lieutenant, who gave only her last name Chornovol, in mid-March told The New York Times she and her Stugna-P team, traveling in her Chevy Aveo hatchback, have waited three days for a single shot at a Russian convoy. “We look for firing positions where we can see a stretch of road,” she said. “We know a column will drive on the road.” It’s important to view the ATGM raids in context. Hit-and-run attacks by Ukrainian missileers can sap the strength of a Russian battalion tactical group, but the small, lightly-armed missile teams can’t hold ground—and generally don’t try to do so. ATGM teams are vulnerable to sweeps by enemy squads. One big reason the Ukrainians have been so successful with their missiles is that the Russians went to war with far too few infantry.

The essence of "shoot & scoot" .... planning the operation, patience, kill box lethality, quick getaway, rinse and repeat.
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