ARMSTRONG: Ukraine’s small missiles are challenging a big invader

Michael Armstrong, Associate Professor of Operations Management at Brock University, had a piece recently published in The Conversation about missiles being used by Ukrainian soldiers to defend themselves during the Russian invasion.

He writes:

“When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the world “I need ammunition, not a ride,” what he really wanted was anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.

Since then, countries have sent him some 17,000 anti-tank missiles and thousands of anti-aircraft missiles.

Zelensky’s request, and the international response, reflect the missiles’ military suitability and political acceptability for Ukraine’s defence against more numerous Russian invaders.

Outnumbered defenders

When the war began, Russia had roughly five times more tanks and nine times more warplanes than Ukraine did. 

Russia’s numerical superiority compared to Ukraine makes it impractical for Ukrainians to simply fight tank-versus-tank or plane-versus-plane. Anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles partly make up the difference.

Unlike the larger ballistic missiles fired between countries or cruise missiles fired by warships, Ukraine’s missiles are mostly small enough for individual soldiers to carry.”

Continue reading the full article on The Conversation website.

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