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Ukraine's Neptune anti-ship cruise missile ready for service

Ukraine has completed one of the final trials of its Neptune land-based cruise missile, designed for coastal defence, and plans to soon field it to Ukraine’s naval and land forces, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced in April.

According to Poroshenko’s statement, the test was conducted at a state testing ground and supervised by 11 Ukrainian ships positioned in the Black Sea.

In a speech at the test, recounted by the state press service, Poroshenko said, “Today we are ready to complete the test and equip the navy and the land forces on my command, in an extremely short period of time.” He said students of the Odessa Maritime Academy had started training on the Neptune system so as “to drastically shorten the period that will allow combat use in the event of aggression against our state by the enemy”.

The 5 April launch of the Neptune missile. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service )

The 5 April launch of the Neptune missile. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service )

Neptune is an anti-ship missile designed to protect Ukraine’s coastal areas and to deter Russian naval actions in the area.

Four Neptune missiles are carried ready to fire on a KrAZ-7634HE 8×8 chassis. The entire complex consists of four launch vehicles, crewed by three personnel each, a 6×6 command-and-control vehicle, and two loading vehicles.

The Neptune missile is armed with a 145 kg high explosive fragmentation warhead and has a total weight of 670 kg.

Ukraine’s state-owned Spets Techno Export said the missile was designed to sink naval vessels with a maximum displacement of 5,000 tonnes. It has a range of 280 km, which the company said is so the export model complies with the Missile Technology Control Regime. The missile could therefore have a longer range for Ukraine’s own use and improve.

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