Outdated weaponry may be bogging down Russian troops

Russia At War

(NewsNation) — The brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine is stretching into its second month, but intelligence officials warn that older weapons and diminishing supplies could halt the Kremlin’s progress.

Russian troops remain halted outside the Ukraine capital of Kyiv as Russian ships continue shelling the highly contested city of Mariupol from offshore.

A senior U.S. defense official Thursday said there are indications that Russia is exploring ways to resupply troops and is considering bringing in reinforcements, but so far active moves to do either have not been seen. There also are indications that Russia has used a significant number of its precision-guided munitions, particularly its air-launched cruise missiles, and is exploring ways to resupply those weapons, the official said.

Intelligence officials have said Russia’s precision-guided missiles have a failure rate as high as 60%. It’s part of a growing assessment that Russia’s weapons are outdated.

Russia’s claim to being the second most powerful military in the world is in part due to the amount of personnel, but the weapons are fitted with old technology. For example, Russia has the greatest number of tanks in the world, according to Global Fire Power. But those tanks are old, some from the Soviet Union days, meaning they can be plagued with issues when on the battlefield.

As a result, Russia’s military has hardly made ground gains and unit cohesion is being lost. Friday night on “The Donlon Report,” retired Marine intelligence officer Hal Kempfer confirmed just how bad things have gotten for Putin’s troops.

“They’re slowly starting to fall apart,” Kempfer says. “The troops are frustrated, the vehicles are breaking down and it could be half of the Russian troops have gotten frostbite.”

This issue is further exacerbated by the money Russia puts into its military. Russia is estimated to spend $65 billion a year on its military, whereas the United States spent $686 billion in 2019, more than 10 times the Russian budget.

Another point of comparison is the number of fifth-generation fighter jets: Russia has only 14, whereas the U.S. has 706.

Russia has made advancements in cybertechnology, using it in its assault against Ukraine to damage communications. The White House Monday urged private companies to bolster their cyber defenses, citing evolving intelligence suggesting the Russian government is exploring “options for potential cyberattacks” targeting U.S. critical infrastructure.

This comes as Russia, China and the United States are racing to develop hypersonic missiles, which travel at speeds akin to ballistic missiles but are difficult to shoot down because of their maneuverability.

Hypersonic weapons are defined as anything traveling beyond Mach 5, about 3,800 mph or five times the speed of sound. Intercontinental ballistic missiles far exceed that threshold but travel in a predictable path, making it possible to intercept them. Hypersonic missiles are harder to track and harder to shoot down. That’s one of the reasons the missiles are so dangerous: They have a higher chance of avoiding Ukraine’s missile defense systems.

© 1998 - 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation

Elections 2022

More Elections 2022