The US has assessed that Russian forces are running low on air-launched cruise missiles, and there are indications they are trying to preserve that inventory as part of their declining stocks of precision guided munitions, according to a US defense official.
Air-launched cruise missiles are the “lowest” part of the inventory, the official added.
In addition, these missiles are showing high failure rates at launch, the official said. The US currently assesses Russian failure rates of precision guided munitions, especially cruise missiles failure rates, range from “20 percent to as high as 60 percent,” the official said, depending on the type of weapon and mission.
The US has tracked this information in part by observing the number of Russian missions that appear to involve unguided, or "dumb," bombs. Satellites and other airborne intelligence platforms can monitor the failure of some missile launches by gathering intelligence on infrared and radar signatures of the aircraft and the missiles.