US intelligence has discovered that the barrage of ballistic missiles that Russia has fired at Ukraine contains a significant surprise because it would contain devices that could deceive radars and fool heat-seeking missiles.
Each device is about a foot long and shaped like an arrow with a white and orange tail, US intelligence says, according to The New York Times. They would be used in Iskander-M short-range ballistic missiles that Russia fires from the border when the missile detects that air defence systems are targeting it.
It would be packed with electronics and produce radio signals to interfere with or falsify enemy radars trying to locate the missile. Using this may help explain why Ukrainian air defence weapons struggle to intercept Russia’s Iskander missiles.
Two weeks ago, photos of the arrow-shaped ammunition started doing the rounds on social media. Initially, it was thought that they were bombs from cluster weapons.
However, Richard Stevens, who spent 22 years in the British Army clearing explosives and later worked as a bomb technician in southern Iraq, told the NY Times that he had never seen such missiles, although he had many contacts throughout his career with Chinese and Russian ammunition.