Kiev said it had made progress in the conflict against Moscow: the toll made at the beginning of the month is of four Russian S-300 air defense systems destroyed and a radar station put out of use. A result that in recent weeks seemed difficult to imagine, but which has now become plausible after the announcement made by the US: on 9 August, US officials said they had supplied high-speed anti-radiation, or anti-radar, missiles (HARM ) to Ukraine. “In recent packages from the presidential pickup authority we have included a number of anti-radiation missiles that can be launched by Ukrainian aircraft that can affect Russian radars and other threats,” said Colin Kahl, undersecretary of the US Department of Defense. Kahl did not specify how many such weapons were sent to Ukraine, but another defense official told CNN that the US sent the AGM-88 (HARM) high-speed anti-radiation missile, manufactured by Raytheon.
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Missile Harm, how it works
It is an air-to-surface tactical missile that has a range of at least 50 kilometers and is designed to find and destroy radar-equipped air defense systems. It is a weapon designed to engage and disable the radar systems of anti-aircraft batteries, as part of the so-called SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defences) missions, which consist of air strikes that have the objective of eliminating the defenses enemy anti-aircraft. Basically, rockets like the AGM-88 are designed to search the sky for incoming fighters and intercept them.
This type of missile can be configured in three ways: Pre-Briefed, Target Of Opportunity and Self-Protect. In the first mode it is thrown at the target, which is spotted in a radius of 150 km. Target Of Opportunity means that the target has been identified directly by the launch computer, while the Self-Protect mode indicates that the aircraft’s radar is on and is picking up any signals. Help comes from Western electronic surveillance aircraft, such as the RAF’s RC-135W Rivet Joint, which patrol the Black Sea and map Russian networks.