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Explainer: What is Neptune Cruise Missile that severely damaged a Russian warship

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Google Oneindia News

Kyiv, Apr 18: Ukrainian forces said they hit and badly damaged the flagship of Russia's Black Sea fleet, and Russia said its crew was forced to evacuate as a result of a fire without acknowledging an attack, as the battle shifts east and around the battered city of Mariupol where the defenders were still holding out.

Explainer: What is Neptune Cruise Missile that severely damaged a Russian warship

The governor of the Odesa region, Maksym Marchenko, said the Ukrainians struck the guided-missile cruiser Moskva with two missiles and caused serious damage.

The reported ship attack by Neptune cruise missiles came a day after President Joe Biden called Russia's actions in Ukraine a genocide and approved $800 million in new military assistance to Kyiv, saying weapons from the West have sustained Ukraine's fight so far and we cannot rest now. The munitions include artillery systems, armoured personnel carriers and helicopters.

Russia invaded on Feb 24 with the goal, according to Western officials, of taking Kyiv, toppling the government and installing a Moscow-friendly replacement. But the ground advance slowly stalled and Russia lost potentially thousands of fighters.

So, What is Neptune Cruise Missile?

Neptune Cruise Missile (R-360 Neptune) is a Ukrainian anti-ship cruise missile developed by the Luch Design Bureau.

Neptune's design is based on the Soviet Kh-35 anti-ship missile, with substantially improved range and electronics. The system is designed to defeat surface warships and transport vessels with a displacement of up to 5,000 tons, either in convoys or moving individually.

The system entered service with the Ukrainian Navy in March 2021.

The missile was first revealed at the 2015 Arms and Security international exhibition in Kyiv.

Design:
When deployed, a Neptune coastal defence system comprises a truck-based USPU-360 mobile launcher, four missiles, a TZM-360 transport/reload vehicle, a RCP-360 command and control vehicle, and a special cargo vehicle. The system is designed to operate up to 25 kilometres (16 mi) from the coastline.

A Neptune missile including rocket motor is 5.05 metres (16 ft 7 in) in length, with a cross-shaped hard wing. Neptune missiles are designed to be housed in transport and launch containers (TLC) with dimensions 5.30 by 0.60 by 0.60 metres (209 in × 24 in × 24 in). The system has a maximum range of about 300 kilometres (190 mi). A single missile weighs 870 kilograms (1,920 lb), of which 150 kilograms (330 lb) is the warhead.

Neptune missle can engage warships of the cruiser, destroyer, frigate, corvette, landing and tank landing ships. "Neptune" can become a threat both for single enemy ships and for a group of ships at a distance of up to 280 km. At the same time, the launch of pro-ship missiles can be carried out at a distance of up to 25 km from the coast.

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