Norwegian intelligence: Russia has used up three-quarters of its advanced surface-to-surface missiles in Ukraine

Photo: “Tula”, one of the Northern Fleet’s Delta IV-class strategic submarines, photographed during an exercise by Russia’s strategic forces on October 26, 2022. Photo: Russian Defense Ministry / AP

Norwegian intelligence reports that Russia has used up three-quarters of its advanced surface-to-surface missiles in Ukraine.

Russia’s standing conventional forces have been significantly weakened by the war in Ukraine, and a large part of what remains tied up in the war. Among other things, Russia has used up three-quarters of its modern surface-to-surface missiles in Ukraine. On the other hand, Russia has large reserve stocks of military material, especially of older types. Much of this will now be retrieved, but it will take several months to prepare the material for operational efforts and build up new departments. Russia’s nuclear capabilities, on the other hand, are the same as before the war, and the air and naval forces are essentially intact.

The Russian strategic and regional deterrent forces have thus become increasingly important for the Russian military power. A central part of the nuclear capabilities is located on the North Fleet’s submarines and surface vessels. Tactical nuclear weapons pose a particularly serious threat in several operational scenarios that may involve NATO countries. In addition, Russia has, among other things, underwater capabilities, anti-satellite weapons, and cyber tools that can threaten Norway and NATO. As the importance of nuclear weapons and strategic deterrence forces increases, the Northern Fleet’s defense of the military bases at Kola, the Northern Bastion, and the Barents Sea also becomes more important.

It is noted that tactical nuclear weapons pose a serious threat in the scenario of a potential confrontation between Russia and NATO.

The intelligence service emphasizes that since the end of the Cold War, warships of the Russian Northern Fleet have not carried out raids with nuclear weapons.

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