from RS: Missile Survey: Ballistic and Cruise Missiles of Selected Foreign Countries, July 26, 2005

“A number of unarmed Kh-55 cruise missiles — left in the Ukraine after the withdrawal of Russian forces — were reportedly illicitly transferred to Iran and China.

page 33

According to Ukrainian government officials, 12 missiles were supplied to Iran and six missiles to China in 2001. Some Western analysts believe that more missiles could have been supplied than the 18 acknowledged by the Ukrainian government and that North Korea might have also received missiles. Some are concerned that these Kh-55s could be modified into precision guided Kh-555s and that they could be modified to be fired from smaller aircraft — such as SU-24s — which would increase the utility of the missile among nations that do not have large, long- range bomber aircraft.”

https://file.wikileaks.org/file/crs/RL30427.pdf

CRS: Missile Survey: Ballistic and Cruise Missiles of Selected Foreign Countries, July 26, 2005

Wikileaks release: February 2, 2009

Publisher: United States Congressional Research Service

Title: Missile Survey: Ballistic and Cruise Missiles of Selected Foreign Countries

CRS report number: RL30427

Author(s): Andrew Feickert, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

Date: July 26, 2005

Abstract

This report provides a current summary of ballistic and cruise missile activity in selected countries and discusses implications for U.S. national security policy. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Terms of Reference Handbook defines a ballistic missile as “a missile that is guided during powered flight and unguided during free flight when the trajectory that it follows is subject only to the external influences of gravity and atmospheric drag” and a cruise missile as “a long-range, low-flying guided missile that can be launched from air, sea, and land.” Ballistic and cruise missile development and proliferation continue to pose a threat to U.S. national security interests both at home and abroad. Approximately 35 countries currently possess operational ballistic missiles of various ranges and approximately 25 countries have operational cruise missiles with a range greater than 150 km (90 miles). Some analysts consider cruise missile proliferation to be of more concern than that of ballistic missile proliferation, primarily due to their low threshold of use, availability, affordability, and accuracy.

Featured image: An anonymous source inside Ukraine’s government claimed that not one North Korean missile could ever be able to hit Ukraine.


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