The press service of the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) informed on March 30 that Russian air defense systems shot down a new Ukrainian operational-tactical missile, “Grom-2,” in the air for the first time, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.
“During the day, one Grom-2 operational-tactical missile, three rockets of the HIMARS multiple launch rocket system were intercepted, and two Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were destroyed in the areas of the settlements of Novoandreevka and Zeleny Gay of the Donetsk People’s Republic.”
Following the fall of the USSR, the Ukrainian design firm Yuzhnoye (Dnipro) created the operational-tactical missile system known as Grom. The project was first presented in 2013. Popularly known as ‘Thunder,’ the range of this missile is between 50 to 500 kilometers, depending upon the variant.
Over the years, the missile and the entire weapon system it is a part of have gone by the names Sapsan, Grom, Grim, Grim-2, and Hrim-2. The 10-wheeled TEL that can carry two containerized missiles at a time and other parts of the entire system appears to have been built under a wider initiative known as Sapsan.
There appear to be domestic and export-specific modifications of the missiles and/or systems referred to by the nomenclature Grom/Grim/Grim-2/Hrim-2.
All of the spelling variations translate as Thunder/Thunder-2 in English, and they appear to be mostly a result of how Russian and Ukrainian have been transliterated into the Roman script throughout time.
The Grom-2 is a surface-to-surface, short-range ballistic missile with a range of about 280 kilometers. The missile system is mounted on a 6×6 military truck used as a TEL (Transporter Erector Launcher) mobile unit. The first photos of the system were released by a Ukrainian military website in 2018.
Although little remains known about this cutting-edge Ukrainian missile, some media reports suggest that it is supposed to compete with the Russian Iskander short-range ballistic missile.
Some reports also suggest that the development of this missile has been financed by Saudi Arabia. It has been claimed that Saudi Arabia paid roughly $40 million in covert research and development funding for the Grom-2 project.
Military experts from the Pavlograd Chemical Plant and Yuzhnoye Design Bureau had reportedly started working on the Grom-2 system’s development using funds from an unidentified foreign client, according to Ukrainian media in the summer of 2016. Soon, it was made public that the mysterious client was from Saudi Arabia.
Having said all that, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are yet to confirm whether the missile was deployed or has been shot by the Russian air defenses.
Military expert Vijiander Thakur says that Grom-2 (not to be confused with Russia’s Grom-E2 glide bomb) features a 480 kg warhead & 500 km range, sufficient to strike critical targets in Russia.
If Ukraine has managed to set up production facilities for the missile within or outside Ukraine, Russia may experience more frequent and deadlier attacks on its territory.
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