On April 9, video footage surfaced online showing a recent pinpoint airstrike by the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) against a bridge used by Kiev forces in the special military operation zone in Ukraine.
The bridge, which is located over the Sudost River in the Chernihiv region, was heavily damaged as a result of the airstrike that was reportedly carried out by a Su-34 fighter bomber using a Kh-29 air-to-ground optically-guided missile.
The Kh-29 was developed in the Soviet Union in the late 1970s by Vympel NPO. Today, Russia’s Tactical Missiles Corporation produces upgraded versions of the missile.
The missile used in the pinpoint strike, the Kh-29TD, is a derivative from the TE version, which is an upgrade to the original TV-guided Kh-29T. Unlike the T and TE versions, the Kh-29TD is said to be equipped with a new imaging infrared homing seeker that allows for day and night operations.
Both the Kh-29TE and the upgraded TD version have an effective range of up to 30 kilometers and a top launch altitude of 10,000 meters.
Kh-29 missiles are typically armed with a 320 kg high-explosive armor-piercing warhead. They were designed for use against larger battlefield targets and infrastructure such as industrial buildings, depots and bridges as well as against ships with a displacement up to 10,000 tons, hardened aircraft shelters and concrete runways.
The missile can be carried by all fighter bombers currently in service with the VKS. It is the main air-to-ground weapon usually loaded on Su-34s.
VKS fighter bombers have been using Kh-29 missiles against Kiev forces since the start of the special military operation more than a year ago with much success.